Saturday, June 24, 2006

Funny eBbay Auction

I love a well-written eBay auction description:

Some people might ask what good a 14" Apple iBook with no hard drive and a faulty motherboard is.

Those people lack imagination.

Those are the kind of people who wouldn't buy a car that lacked an engine. They'd forsake a book without pages. They'd probably toss out a perfectly good non-definition TV.

I'm not selling to those people.

I'm selling to the kind of person who wants a 14" Apple iBook with no hard drive and a faulty motherboard. The kind of person who thinks differently.

I think this guy could probably sell anything.

Midwifery Legal Update - Wisconsin

Helen Dentice entered a not guilty plea on Friday to practicing medicine without a license.

She is not charged with practicing midwifery without a license? How odd, since she was clearly holding herself out to be a midwife, not a doctor. Although prosecutors may believe her actions meet the legal definition of "practicing medicine", I would think that the "practicing midwifery" charge would be easier to prove. My guess (without looking it up) is that one is a misdemeanor and the other a felony. But why not charge both? Even though Wisconsin recently legalized CPMs, Ms. Dentice, if I understand correctly, is not one.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Midwifery Legal Update - Florida & Indiana

In Florida this week, Linda McGlade and her daughter-in-law Tanya McGlade were sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison after being found guilty of practicing midwifery without a license. The charges stem from the 2004 childbirth death of another daughter-in-law, Mara McGlade. The Florida case is a bit bizarre, because Florida licenses direct-entry midwives:
The defendants said they never claimed to be midwives, a profession regulated by the state. They said they merely attended an unassisted home birth, which is legal.

But Circuit Judge Edward Nicholas noted that they checked the heart rate of the fetus, delivered oxygen to the mother and examined the placenta.
(link:"Women sentenced for unlicensed midwifery")

In Indiana, Jennifer Williams, CPM, pled guilty on Wednesday to a charge of practicing midwifery without a license ("Ind. midwife pleads guilty in infant death"). As part of the plea deal, the charges of practicing medicine without a license were dropped. No charges were brought in connection with the death of the baby. Ms. Williams' case gained national notoriety after she was featured in a New York Times article ("Prosecution of Midwife Casts Light on Home Births"). In May, she brought suit against the Attorney General of Indiana, requesting that the state clarify the definition of midwifery. Indiana regulates nurse-midwifery, but has no statute regarding the practice of direct-entry midwifery.

From Ms. Williams' press release:
I am a Certified Professional Midwife which means that I am a fully trained and fully educated midwife and credentialed through the North American Registry of Midwives. There are two types of certified midwives in Indiana, and elsewhere in the United States - Certified Nurse Midwives and Certified Professional Midwives. In many other states across the country Certified Professional Midwives practice legally, with the sanction of the state. CPMs in these states are able to accept insurance and Medicaid reimbursement and interact fully with the medical establishment. Indiana chooses to prosecute these same CPMs with felony charges, instead of utilizing CPMs in the maternal child- health care system, which desperately needs support and re-enforcement.
Prosecuting CPMs is a short-sighted waste of money, time and effort. CPMs are not criminals or felons. They are well-trained professionals who practice with the highest of standards, who pass academic and clinical skills board exams, and undergo peer review and continuing education, just as any other health care professional does. Indiana should be incorporating these midwives into the health care system, rather than prosecuting them.
Midwifery supporters in Indiana have been trying for years to pass legislation legalizing and regulating direct-entry midwifery, but have been blocked by Sen. Patricia Miller, a nurse and the chair of the Senate Public Health Committee ("Desperate midwives: Sen. Miller continues to block legislation").

News links:
State questions legality of midwifery
Trying to boost at-home births
Midwives fight to practice in Indiana

Kemplog - Midwives vs. State and Midwife Takes Plea
**Updated 6/17/06 to add: Legal Status of Unlicensed Midwives in Indiana
Belly Tales - Homebirth Prosecution
Chai There - Calling my elected official
5 Dollars - Midwife charged in Edinburgh case

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Parents Fight Over Son's Circumcision

Groups opposed to circumcision are watching the case of an 8-year-old suburban Chicago boy whose divorced parents are fighting in court over whether he should have the procedure.

The child's mother wants him circumcised to prevent recurring, painful inflammation she says he's experienced during the past year. But the father says the boy is healthy and circumcision, which removes the foreskin of the penis, is an unnecessary medical procedure that could cause him long-term physical and psychological harm.

There are religious issues, too:

Tracy Rizzo, the mother's attorney, said religion, not medicine, is the father's concern. Rizzo said the father disagrees with circumcision because he resents the fact that his ex-wife has remarried a Jewish man. The mother lives with her new husband, her son and her husband's son from a previous relationship in Northbrook.

The father, an Arlington Heights resident, denies he's concerned about the religion of his ex-wife's husband.

The mother testified Wednesday that she wanted the boy circumcised when he was a newborn, but her then-husband refused. She quoted him as saying at the time: "There is no way my son is going to be circumcised. He is not a Jew."

But the judge would not allow Alan Toback, an attorney for the father, to ask the new husband, who also testified Wednesday, if he is circumcised.

"We're not going there," the judge said.

Yeah, me neither.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Rethinking the VBAC Ban

Frederick Memorial Hospital in Pensylvania institued a VBAC ban in 2004, but is rethinking its policy, according to the Frederick News-Post:
Dr. Chen [head of the obstetrics and gynecology department] believes the decision to perform a VBAC should be between the physician and patient upon evaluating a woman's individual risk for complications. Depending on the circumstances of a woman's previous Caesarean(s), the risks from VBAC are different for each person, he said.

The main reason FMH doctors stopped performing VBACs is because of rapidly increasing medical malpractice rates.

"Hospitals don't want to say that. That's the only reason," he said.
Another choice quote:
Rebecca Mack of Frederick recently delivered her son at home because she did not want to have a C-section for her second child.

Her first child was delivered via Caesarean at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. She said her experience at Shady Grove was unpleasant, and she did not want to go to the Rockville hospital to have her second child, despite the opportunity to have a VBAC there.

"I felt that if they had given me a chance to relax and rest my body for awhile ... I could've gotten through it," she said. "I'm still bitter."

Update: Placenta Found At Wellesley College

Placenta mystery solved: Mom, baby found safe, no charges filed

Apparently, I was right.

And the Boston Herald is just as facinated with placentas as I am.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Parkland Hospital & Immigration (of the Illegal variety)

The Dallas Morning News this week featured Parkland hospital, which boasts the nation's second-busiest maternity unit, in relation to the immigration debate (link):
Since Parkland opened in 1895, it has served Dallas' indigent population, which often includes uninsured minority and immigrant residents.

A recent patient survey indicated that 70 percent of the women who gave birth at Parkland in the first three months of 2006 were illegal immigrants, hospital officials said.

These Hispanic women had been having their babies at Parkland without much attention until the recent debate over illegal immigration. Critics have questioned the ease with which illegal immigrants are delivering their babies at U.S. hospitals – at taxpayers' expense.

Placenta Found At Wellesley College

Possible Placenta Found At Wellesley College

Oh, darn. Guess I shouldn't have drained the birth tub out into the arboretum.

No, seriously, this is not funny because if someone is going to just toss a placenta somewhere (as opposed to, say, a ziplock bag in the freezer), they could have easily tossed the baby out too. Which is I'm sure what the police are thinking.

Pro Wrestling & Pregnancy

Missouri's Office of Athletics has a relative new rule that, in conjunction with the licensing of contact sports such as boxing and wrestling, female athletes must take monthly pregnancy tests in order to compete. Wrestler Julie Utley will have none of it.

This is wrong on so many levels.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Midwifery Legal Update - Wisconsin

A Waukesha County judge has banned midwife Helen Dentice from performing any duties as a midwife. She is accused of practicing medicine without a license. (link)

Breastfeeding Lesislative Update - Kansas

Kansas has not only passed a new law insuring the right of moms to breastfeed in public breastfed babies to be fed wherever they are, but has gone one step further by distributing cards explaining the law:
To help educate the public about the law, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and La Leche League of Kansas produced a breastfeeding informational card called Loving Support Makes Breastfeeding Work. The card was designed for nursing mothers to carry with them and share with the public or businesses that do not understand their right to breastfeed. The card has the law printed on it as well as additional information about breastfeeding.
Such cards have been carried by breastfeeding advocates for years, but never, to my knowlege, has the government partnered with LLL to produce and distribue the cards.


Yes, that's how I feel. There is so much to blog about and so little time. Recently I discovered that I had over 250 links saved as drafts that I had never posted to this blog. I'm a bit of a perfectionist; I want to write something clever, or important, or summarize everything in one post, or look up all possible relevant links, or ...

So I'm going to take a hint from Glenn Reynolds and just post links with only brief explanations or quotes. That's all I'm good for right now.