In his new memoir, he intersperses fascinating tales of individual career-defining cases with formative elements of his personal life.
Klein is best known for his questioning of many standard but unjustified procedures in Western maternity care. For example, he embraced midwifery long before it was legal in Canada; led rigorous studies to remove the systemic use of episiotomies (a surgical cut made at the opening of the vagina during childbirth), and advocated for more self-determination for women during the pregnancy and birth process.
During his time at BC Women’s, he oversaw the evolving midwifery program—which was fully integrated into the health care system in BC in 1998—and worked tirelessly to promote family practice and full-service family practice maternity care.
On January 1, 1998, Klein was in the room to bear witness to the birth of the very first baby delivered by a midwife in the province without an attending doctor when it officially became legal.
“I’ve always been interested in transitions, so I placed myself on duty over the weekend when midwifery would transition into fully normal care, when one of our team would no longer have to be present for every birth,” recalls Klein.
Klein’s determination in the face of great opposition, the strength of his convictions, and his humility and sense of humour drive this powerful story of a life and career dedicated to his patients and his principles.