By Greg Smith posted in Criminal Defense on Tuesday, August 22, 2017
For centuries, it was noble to be a midwife (help mothers give birth out of a hospital). Today, you can go to jail for being one. Licensing midwives is now the national trend.
In fact, a midwife was recently sentenced to six months in jail for manslaughter (negligent homicide) because while helping a mother give birth to twins, one of the babies was born purple, and and had a hard time breathing.
Instead of going to the hospital immediately, the midwife did her best to help the baby on the scene (and the weather was very bad, so getting to the hospital would have been difficult), but the court felt her techniques and equipment were inadequate, and that she really should have been aware of such.
Even though it was not disputed that she’d literally given birth to thousands of babies, the court found her guilty and ordered that she serve several months in jail. The judge said it was one of the most difficult case he’d ever seen.
When cases are filed against midwives, most end with a plea deal (like most cases). The fact that this one went to trial was very odd.
Usually, when a professional totally goofs up (acts recklessly or worse), the licensing board deals with the matter. In other words, criminal prosecutions are very rare for licensed professionals. But, when a person has no license, the only place with jurisdiction is the criminal court.
Further, when a person accepts money for doing something that requires a license, criminal prosecution is much more likely. For example a person who gives “legal advice,” but does not charge anything is not likely to be prosecuted, but if that some person charges $100 for the advice, and things go badly for the person who paid for such, the chances are much higher that “attorney” will find himself in front of a judge.
Each applicant for licensure as a licensed direct-entry midwife shall at least “be of good moral character” and hold a Certified Professional Midwife certificate in good standing with the North American Registry of Midwives or equivalent certification approved by the division in collaboration with the board, and hold current adult and infant CPR and newborn resuscitation certifications through an organization approved by the division in collaboration with the board; and provide documentation of successful completion of an approved pharmacology course as defined by division rule (UCA §58-77-302).