|Image: Daquella Manera on Flickr|
This is quite different from any other medical speciality. Generally doctors don't seek out illnesses, unless they manifest. Most forms of medicine are diagnostic or curative... seldom is medicine explorative or preventative.
Preventative care can even be refused by your doctor (like taking out a completely healthy appendix, because it might someday get inflamed), and preventative drugs - profylaxia - are mostly given only when the treat of disease is real and the cure is hard or non-existent (at least this is how it should be in an ideal medical situation, but we see that with things like vaccines - big business again - this bird doesn't fly either).
So back to obstetrics. Obstetric care looks for diseases that don't present itself, and uses preventative treatment and procedures and sometimes even surgery, without necessity. ANd most often without informed consent. When necessity does arise, it is most often created by the very profession that cures it - again all very lucrative. All under the motto that "we should think about the baby too". I'm sue if they would ask those babies, most of them would prefer to just be able to gestate at their own pace, and be perfectly well with that.
|Image: Euthman on Flickr|
There are two reasons I can see for this approach. One is financial, as you could have guessed from the text above: labour wards are often indeed one of the only wings of a hospital who make a profit (that and radiology or laboratory facilities). The other one is that OB/GYN in fact practice defensive medicine and a diagnosis in pregnancy gives them a sort of 'get out of jail free card' to get out all the possible tests and procedures in the book, and afterwards - if all would fail - leaves them to say "we tried everything we could".
Either one of these reasons seem very unethical to me... Is all this even legal? And who regulates this?