Personal, professional, structural and cultural challenges to autonomous practice - a midwife's perspective
Donnellan-Fernandez, Roslyn Elizabeth
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This paper examines the status and some of the issues surrounding autonomous midwifery practice in South Australia in 1996. It is based on the author's reflections and lived experience as an intermittently self-employed midwife practitioner within the Adelaide community during the past three years. Additionally, the paper examines recent national and state reports and recommendations on the maternity services. The principal themes that will be explored include personal, professional, structural and cultural challenges in achieving autonomous midwifery practice. Whilst explicit exploration of the theoretical orientations underlying this paper are absent, the primary influences are those of critical theory, (particularly the works of Michel Foucault) and socialist feminist theory (particularly the work of Alison Jaggar).