Autonomy in midwifery : definition, education, regulation

by Robbie Davis-Floyd

This article appears in Midwifery Today 46, Spring, 1996.

Both Midwifery Today and the author give permission for it to be replicated for educational purposes.

One day a few years ago I stood at the edge of a corn field in central Mexico watching a farmer tilling his land. When he was ready to take a break, we sat down together in the shade of a tree and talked for a while about his past. He told me that he had trained as a schoolteacher, and had taught high school in various towns for several years. When I asked him why he switched to farming, he replied, “Porque aqui nadie me manda” (“Because here, no one tells me what to do.”) In other words, as a farmer working his own land, he was autonomous.

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