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Why is Heather's choice considered risky? She did not have a poor outcome, she had a healthy baby born in the hospital. I'm not sure what you mean by blaming staff for risky choices. The story is that she chose to have a creech birth at home. The midwife transported appropriately to the hospital. Mom and baby were fine.
The consequence was that OHSU filed a complaint, based on their belief that breech births shouldn't be out-of-hospital (or vaginal at all), and when the licensing board investigated they dropped the case immediately-- recognizing that nothing had been done wrong.
We are lucky that we can transport to the hospital when complications occur-- but that is not just a bonus, it is part of the decision-making to choose out-of-hospital birth. Many midwives would stop practicing if that wasn't an option. There is no one who thinks that every birth is safe or apprpriate out-of-hospital, but 90% of them are.
Midwives in Oregon don't carry malpractice insurance because it's unavailable or prohibitively expensive--in most cases, more than the midwives' yearly salary. Clients who choose midwives know this and accept their part in their decision-making for their care. Like it or not, choosing to give birth at all is accepting a level of risk, and choosing to be in the hospital doesn't eliminate that. Just look at the statistics, and the fact that the US infant mortality rate is one of the highest in the industrialized world, and that has nothing to do with home birth, andit has everything to do with the high c-section rate.
posted 2 years, 10 months ago
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