Alternative birthing methods have become increasingly popular in recent years both in New York City and throughout the rest of the U.S. In many cases, couples opt to go with midwives to handle these deliveries as opposed to a doctor. These specialty providers will often deliver babies in hospitals, private clinics or even in people’s homes. They are trained specifically in birthing techniques and, while they are required to be licensed, may not be subject to the same standards and scrutiny that traditional providers are. Sadly, when complications do occur in the pregnancies they manage, the outcomes can often be devastating to both mothers and babies.
A recent lawsuit filed by a family in Washington has revealed a history of such catastrophic results linked to an area midwife. The woman is reported to have been the subject of as many as 22 complaints filed by patients. These include cases of her overstepping her authority as a midwife in prescribing a patient medication and even representing herself as a physician. She has also been investigated for two cases involving patients who experienced severe postpartum complications, one of whom died as a result. Records show that she has been instructed by officials to take numerous corrective actions over the years, yet her compliance to those requirements has reportedly been poor. The most recent action taken against her was by a family whose baby died after being instructed by the woman that the mother’s delivery was progressing normally. Despite the many cases against her, the woman continues to practice.
While midwives may not be held to the same standard of care as other providers, they may be equally as liable for their negligent actions. Those looking to initiate action against such a provider may want to work with an attorney in doing so.
Source: Longview Daily News “Chehalis midwife involved in malpractice lawsuits has almost 30-year history of complaints, investigations” Pratt, Denver, July 29, 2017