July 6, 2019

"I believe that we were created to birth without invention and that women possess the God-given wisdom and intuition to birth their babies free from regulation."

Wrote Angela Hock, on her website advertising midwife services, quoted in "Unlicensed Nebraska Midwife Is Arrested in Newborn’s Death After Home Delivery/Angela Hock could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of negligent child abuse resulting in the death of a baby" (NYT).

Her lawyer says, "She is not a medical provider. She makes that clear with respect to her clientele. My client is an old school midwife, in that she’s not certified. Midwife is in the Old Testament, if you will.... They wanted to have a birth in their bedroom. Didn’t want to go to the hospital."

"Midwife" is, indeed, in the Old Testament...

Genesis 35:16-18:
While they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and had great difficulty. And as she was having great difficulty in childbirth, the midwife said to her, “Don’t despair, for you have another son.” As she breathed her last—for she was dying—she named her son Ben-Oni. But his father named him Benjamin.
Genesis 38:27-30:
When the time came for [Tamar] to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist and said, “This one came out first.” But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out, and she said, “So this is how you have broken out!” And he was named Perez. Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist, came out. And he was named Zerah.

48 comments:

Blogger Login Procedure is Lame said...

And yet if the mother just retroactively decided she didn’t want the baby it could be considered a post birth abortion and all Democratic presidential candidates would see nothing wrong with it.

rehajm said...

There are hospitals in the old testament?

Paco Wové said...

"My client is an old school midwife, in that she’s not certified. Midwife is in the Old Testament, if you will...."

The lawyer then paused to handle several rattlesnakes, and spoke in tongues for serveral minutes before continuing in English.

Bob Boyd said...

They wanted to have a birth in their bedroom. Didn’t want to go to the hospital.

They should have gone through HomeAdvisor.

Fernandistein said...

Speaking of the God-given wisdom of female humans -

"It is true that [women] are progressing in making aggressive gestures like men, punching the air, snarling, and so forth, which are all very necessary to true sporting accomplishment; but they could do yet better. On the other hand, I thought their performance on rolling about the ground in agony whenever they claimed to have been fouled very creditable. I hesitate to say that this is a type of sporting gesture particularly suited to women, for which they have a natural aptitude." -- Dalrymple

john said...

"Similar complications arose during the earlier pregnancy with a breeched baby, he said, and Ms. Noe opted to have a C-section at the hospital after Ms Hock advised her of the risks. This time, he said, Ms. Hock once again warned Ms. Noe of the risks of a breeched birth, but that she had opted to remain at home."

I did not read where Mr and Mrs Noe were also getting charged with homicide.

Howard said...

Midwifery rocks and vaccines are unsafe.

Howard said...

Blogger Fernandistein said...

Speaking of the God-given wisdom of female humans -

"It is true that [women] are progressing in making aggressive gestures like men, punching the air, snarling, and so forth, which are all very necessary to true sporting accomplishment; but they could do yet better. On the other hand, I thought their performance on rolling about the ground in agony whenever they claimed to have been fouled very creditable. I hesitate to say that this is a type of sporting gesture particularly suited to women, for which they have a natural aptitude." -- Dalrymple


What an asshole, you give the rest of us misogynists a bad name

Fernandistein said...

without invention

? It's "invention" on her website (which took a while to find), but some fake news orgs changed it to "intervention".

"My real curiosity for birth began after my second child was born. After being repeatedly lied to during my induction, I walked away from my son’s birth feeling confused. I believed his induction birth was fighting against nature, which felt wrong. I wondered how many other women felt the same way."

"Nature" is not your friend.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

In the first chapter of Judges a conquered king's thumbs and big toes are cut off and there is a marriage between first cousins. Just cause its in the Bible doesn't make it good.

Michael K said...

We had one of these "natural childbirth" providers in our community when I was in practice. He said he was a doctor but nobody ever saw his credentials. At least he was smart enough to send women to the ER when their labor was not progressing. However, the OBs hated those cases because the women usually had some complication and were already angry at their "failure" at natural childbirth. They told me that a few times the women would not even look at our speak to the OB who was saving their lives or their babies. The women were as crazy as the "provider" or, in this case "midwife."

The hospital had trouble with OBs refusing ER call. It was a mess.

Dave Begley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Begley said...

Stu Dornan is a smart criminal defense lawyer here in Omaha. He was the county attorney for one term. Elected as a Republican. Also an ex-FBI agent.

He's going the First Amendment route. Smart.

The County Attorney is also a smart guy. Dem. He won't back down here. Freedom of Religion doesn't mean you can ignore the science of childbirth and end up harming others.

A jury will convict this woman.

Tom T. said...

Are the charges based solely on the lack of a license, or were there facts about her handling of this particular case that support a finding of negligence?

Fernandistein said...

A jury will convict this woman.

I wouldn't. I understand the "you pays your money and you takes your chances" philosophy of life, and if stupidity were illegal everyone except me would be in prison.

Ice Nine said...

You have to be gravely uninformed or a lousy gambler to do a home birth. That was driven home to me when I was in practice. We used to get the results in the ER because there were a couple midwives delivering in our area. Their attitude was, "We can send them to the ER if there is a problem."

Sure, and most of the time you are going to be fine. But when the shit hits the fan in a delivery - and it does - it hits *fast*, and the result can be dead baby or dead mother. I remember one woman who came in with a uterine inversion, which can be catastrophic in a well-equipped delivery room and has a 15% mortality rate. She was critically bleeding out and we had to resuscitate and transfuse her and it was very close. Others were prolonged deliveries with floppy babies. Always wondered how they did on their SATs eighteen years later.

Midwives/home deliveries - it is simple: Don't do this.

Dave Begley said...

Fern:

I don't know all the details so I probably should have restrained myself. My point is that our County Attorney has a very good office. Dornan will put on a vigorous defense. From what I know of the County Attorney is that he would not have filed charges until he made a serious investigation and was convinced that he could convict this woman beyond a reasonable doubt. This is all my local knowledge and opinion. Also, juries in Omaha aren't crazy.

mockturtle said...

Modern midwifery involves quite a bit of specialized education and training and requires a Masters Degree, if I recall. Even so, it is riskier than hospital birthing. But, then, some women have their babies in cars on the way to the hospital and do just fine. Having been present when my daughters were in labor, I find objectionable the high-tech monitors and devices that prevent a woman from getting up and walking around, letting gravity help the progress. And, while these measures do detect potential problems, I suspect they are mostly for CYA purposes.

Bob Boyd said...

Meanwhile on the other end of the spectrum

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If it is "my body my choice" when it comes to killing, I mean terminating the pregnancy.....why isn't it the same when it comes to the birthing of the baby.

You can't have it both ways. You get a choice......or not.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

We live in an incredibly anxious society that struggles to react to bad things (inevitably) happening. We want to punish those who act in good faith and force people as we would behave. It’s not healthy. It’s not self aware either, because our decisions which we might think above reproach are contemptible in the eyes of others who would love to punish us for them.

Earnest Prole said...

Must the state insert itself into every crevice of modern life?

Dave Begley said...

Don Kleine is the Douglas County Attorney (Omaha). His office filed rape charges against former Creighton basketball star Maurice Watson. During discovery (a female lawyer in Stu Dornan's firm did the work), it was learned that the victim had all sorts of credibility problems. Case was dismissed and this was after the preliminary hearing. I think Watson spent some time in jail before his parents were able to raise bail.

Kleine did the right thing in the Watson case. Good judgment.

The Drill SGT said...

I dated a midwife, an Army Captain, 30 some years ago. Midwives as I understand it are specialized Nurse Practitioners, who have an RN and then an MS focused on OB stuff. Like other NPs and PA's, in most states they must run their practice under the supervision of an MD. I assume in this case an OB, which was the case for my MW. Mine practiced inside the hospital, but regardless, she and the OB sorted the cases, and only the low risk ones were on the MW's plate...And of course, she delivered them in the OB / OR

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

Midwifery rocks and vaccines are unsafe.

You want to do the math on how many babies have been killed by the secular left?

n.n said...

Midwifery rocks and vaccines are unsafe.

Accidents happen. Even physicians make mistakes or fail to cope with unforeseen complications. Sometimes it's Nature's choice. Pro-Choice or planned parenthood is premeditated abortion of a viable human life for social progress.

Vaccines are part of a risk management protocol. They are not magical elixirs without casualties or collateral damage, and for that reason are not suitable for general distribution.

Saint Croix said...

I wish the doctors on this thread would speak up about botched abortions and how messy they are.

It's insane to punish a woman for trying to keep a baby alive while you simultaneously license people to kill unwanted children.

Birkel said...

After the first C-Section the mother's life is in danger with natural child birth.
Fools all around.

Saint Croix said...

she’s not certified

I think that's the crux of the prosecution. They're irritated at this woman who has not been certified by the government. As long as you are certified by the government, you can do whatever you want. Kill the baby, decapitate the baby, sell the baby parts to medical researchers. Government certification makes all of this behavior okay.

But you? You uncertified lowly person? You midwife! Off to prison with you.

walter said...

Looks like intuition couldn't deliver.
How nice the "midwife" was assisted by her 9 yr old.

The Drill SGT said...

Saint Croix said...
she’s not certified

I think that's the crux of the prosecution. They're irritated at this woman who has not been certified by the government.


Let's count the ways.

- apparently no actual medical training
- knowledge that it was a breach and not heading to the ER
- an episteotomy? without anesthesia?
- no supervising MD?
- no insurance (if not licensed or supervised)

and she didn't call 911. her assistant did as it spiraled down the drain.

Saint Croix said...

It's astounding to me how people put abortion in this black box and think that any baby who dies outside an abortion clinic is a tragedy, while any baby who dies inside an abortion clinic is normal, right, and just.

I blame the Supreme Court for this dichotomy, this segregation that people do in their minds.

This woman had no intent to kill the baby. It's malicious to prosecute her, and to punish a family that's been devastated enough.

And it's farcical to do this prosecution when there would be no prosecution at all if all the adults in the room wanted the baby to die.

Saint Croix said...

I can see how pro-life people can come down on either side in this case.

What's hard for me to understand is how allegedly "pro-choice" people object to the idea of a woman deciding where and how she is giving birth.

Apparently some people are only for "choice" if it involves the intentional killing of a baby by medical professionals.

walter said...

The concern is at what point is the desire for a home environment subject the baby to untoward risk vs medical setting. If a life is unnecessarily lost, it's not incongruous for a pro life person to object to it.

Fen said...

I remember a bill in Texas (not sure if it became law) that required abortion clinics to be within x number of miles from an Emergency Room. Shouldn't midwifes being under the same law?

wwww said...

This is horrific. My heart goes out to that family.

Saint Croix,

If she was a sister or friend who attended a home birth, there shouldn't be a prosecution. But she advertised herself as a midwife and took money for her services. She didn't advertise herself as a friend or even a doula. Medical midwives are experts who may work in hospitals, birthing centers or home births. Patients who purchase the services of an fake "midwife" may think they are getting a "real" midwife. Someone who is certified to do certain medical procedures. Someone who can give real informed consent because she knows the risk.

Grave confusion can occur where someone claims to be dentist or a midwife or a doctor -- and they are not. Kind of like Disney World putting a beach up against a pond filled with gators, and showing a movie at night while little kids play on that beach. An attractive nuisance can end in death because it misrepresents the risk and lures one into a sense of safety. People look to medical professionals for advice, and patients make life and death decisions based on that advice.

The best situation is when midwives can work in conjunction with doctors. That said, Bethany Mandel gave birth at home a few weeks ago. (Husband Seth Mandel). She had previously given birth in a car. Couldn't make it; fast labor. Home birth with a midwife may have been the safest situation for her birth. Car births don't give best outcomes.

It's horrific and I am so sorry for this family.

jimbino said...

While you still can't find the Bible in the fiction section of the library, you will find unicorns discussed in nine verses, talking snakes and donkeys, transubstantiation of water into wine, wine into blood, crackers into human flesh and god-knows what other fantasies.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

But she advertised herself as a midwife and took money for her services. She didn't advertise herself as a friend or even a doula. Medical midwives are experts who may work in hospitals, birthing centers or home births. Patients who purchase the services of an fake "midwife" may think they are getting a "real" midwife. Someone who is certified to do certain medical procedures. Someone who can give real informed consent because she knows the risk.

Seems to me that the family deliberately went out of their way to find a midwife like they got. She was not advertising herself as a licensed and credentialed CNM, was she?

I gave birth five times; I think you're a mom too wwww; it's pretty hard to accidentally find yourself under the care of a quack. They got what they wanted which was someone who shared their philosophy about birth.

Michael K said...

The concern is at what point is the desire for a home environment subject the baby to untoward risk vs medical setting

Many modern OB centers, including the one my DIL used, have settings much like a bedroom and the labor and delivery and post delivery are all in the same room. Family are allowed to be present.

When my oldest son was born 54 years ago, not even doctor-fathers were allowed in the room.

Michael K said...

Seems to me that the family deliberately went out of their way to find a midwife like they got

That was my impression. I learned a long time ago that patients choose quacks not of ignorance but conviction.

I used to get vascular surgery referrals from a very smart physician who practiced "Alternative Medicine." I would take off the black toe and do the fempop bypass and send them right back for more chelation. He had a PhD in Chemistry, I think, but knew his patients. He pretty much stayed out of trouble. Another "Alternative Medicine" type, who I had known slightly as an intern, came to me one Christmas Eve with symptoms of a bowel obstruction. At surgery he had an advanced small bowel cancer. He also had no health or life insurance but did have a nice little family. Not one of the smart ones.

Michael K said...

A useful site for those in doubt,. I disagree with him about Atkins diet but not much else.

wwww said...

"I gave birth five times; I think you're a mom too wwww; it's pretty hard to accidentally find yourself under the care of a quack. They got what they wanted which was someone who shared their philosophy about birth."

I think a lot of parents rely on the "expertise" of others. They paid her money. They thought she had knowledge they did not have.
I'm not a big fan of the criminal law as a solution for every problem. I'm not a "let's prosecute midwives" fan. I know people who have had midwife births at hospitals, birthing centers, and low-risk births at home. Other point: at what point did she find out she was breech? Would she have been more likely to switch to a hospital if the woman did not call herself a "midwife?" Most real midwives would have refused to attend a home breech birth.

I do not think they understood risks of a breech birth and the high chances of brain death. Friends and family members tend to get worried and upset if the birth is not planned in a way that calms them. Family is intensely interested in the birth, especially if they live in town. Many families would be concerned about a home birth and ask many questions. They may have reassured family members their "doula" was a "midwife." That grandmother's quote in the newspaper...she may have had strong influence before the birth. Many grandmothers will speak up if they are worried; the couple may have reevaluated their decision.

Instead of telling friends and family, "we're planning a home birth without a midwife, and just a friend/doula" (imagine the response) they could say, "we're planning a home birth with a midwife." I know friends who gave birth in hospitals with midwife practitioners. Many have heard of certified nurse midwifes. I bet they didn't tell everyone they had gone with a fake midwife.

One friend of ours gave birth in a birthing center & had to be transferred to a hospital for an emergency. Her next birth was in a hospital, and she told me they would have done it in the hospital if they had better understood the risks.

This is the bottom line: Would they have chosen her if she had advertised herself as a "doula" or "birthing friend" rather then a "midwife?" I don't know the answer to that.

wwww said...

"I gave birth five times; I think you're a mom too wwww; it's pretty hard to accidentally find yourself under the care of a quack."

tl;dr:

unfortunately I've seen it happen, where a couple finds themselves under care they regret.

All of my births have been at hospitals with high risk OB/GYNs. This is the plan for future births for me. But, even with a high risk OB/GYN there were risks and things at play I didn't fully understand until after the birth. I can see how confusion sets in, especially before the first birth.

Just as I can see how a couple from MN let their baby splash around at a Disney Resort that put in a beach at a pond full of gators. Anyone who knows Florida knows this is insane. But they weren't from Florida.

wwww said...

"Seems to me that the family deliberately went out of their way to find a midwife like they got"

But she was not a midwife. She pretended to be a midwife.

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n.n said...

So, is the problem that she failed on an edge case, and doesn't carry malpractice insurance? Was it an elective abortion (i.e. premeditated murder)?

Joe said...

My youngest daughter was born at home using a certified midwife. We did it after a great deal of research with a heavy influence being that our third was born without the OB present (he took his time getting to the hospital, then had the audacity to tell the head nurse she should have waited. She tore him apart for his arrogance. I doubt he ever took his time again when she called.)

It went extremely well, including the nutty hippie assistant. The biggest pain-in-the-ass was the La Leche league woman who insisted we not supplement my daughter's feeding with formula. I told her to leave.