As a neonatologist, my profession, my passion is taking care of critically ill babies, most of whom would not survive without medical assistance. I live in the world of the <1% of births that go really wrong. Approximately 10% of babies require some assistance at birth, included in that number is the ever increasing percentage of preterm births. And yet still many argue that we are "medicalizing" a process that is natural and has occurred without medical assistance for thousands of years. True, but for those same thousands of years there was generally a midwife or some trained person who assisted the the delivery. Further, for those same thousands of years childbirth was the number one cause of death for women and babies. Like I said, I live in the world of 1%. I have seen crazy things. There is one case that is burned into my mind of a home birth where the mom refused to listen to the midwife and her husband and go to the hospital when things started to go wrong. After the woman passed out, the midwife drove her to the hospital, the baby was delivered, saved, but left neurologically devastated because of waiting too long. A few hours earlier, they might have had a healthy baby. The list is long and bad things happen even under the best of care, but wouldn't you want a chance to intervene if things start to go wrong, a chance for the baby and the mom.
Reading the article about this woman in Australia it is clear that her labor was not going as planned, that she had to have an emergency c-section for her first child makes it even less safe for her to be completely unmonitored and unassisted. That she labored for 5 days, something no physician or midwife would allow, especially with the risk of uterine rupture after a prior c-section. That the baby is dead is a tragedy. Could medical intervention definitely have changed the outcome, no. However, it would have given this baby a chance.