The application of ointment to newborn's eyes is a hot topic of mine. I do not support the widespread prophylactic treatment of newborns to prevent a treatable disease. In many states, eye ointment is mandatory; in some states you can not even use an informed refusal. I'm sorry, are we in a free country or not?
The widespread use is an antiquated procedure. The literature supports the responsive treatment of ON infections instead of prophylactic treatment.
Please read evidence based birth for a full, well researched, well written article.