I am lucky enough to live in a state where there is no licensure no regulation, and every choice is the mothers. The mother gets to decide who is qualified to attend her. The mother. Not some governing authority. When you take birth from the mother and hand it to anyone, you are not practicing midwifery. Midwife means WITH woman. It is up to the woman to choose who is qualified to stand WITH HER. Period. The end.
When the provider makes the choice--or fights for the choice--they are fighting for themselves--serving themselves, serving their pocketbooks, their fears, their issues! Until we begin to put mama's and baby's first, we will loose this battle time and time again and it will be the mama's and baby's that suffer-- eventually the majority of the women who will be seeking home births will not be able to find someone to help them because their states will have decided they are not candidates for home birth because of this or that!
It is vital we stand behind unlicensed midwives, who are committed to their women, babies and families and their choices over any governing authority. It is critical. The whole licensure thing is identical to what happened to the Granny midwives of old--they were trashed, discredited, run off the scene and this is exactly what is going to happen to the very skilled, wonderful, highly capable "direct entry" or "lay midwives" who choose to serve mama's and babies, not the Big Push, or any certifying or licensing agency!
Yes, every mom should have a choice--but the choices are already out there! Leave things alone OR if you must fight--fight for the right people--mothers/baby's NOT midwives.
Some have said on this thread that they are leery of supporting a mw who may not have performed according to safe standards in a particular birth. This makes sense to me--and since I don't know the mw or anything about the birth except from media reports, I really can't say if I 'support the mw' herself. Yet I still support her in her pursuit of justice, because to me, this case is NOT about her or that birth. It is about the power of parents to make their own decisions, and about working to curtail the gov's power in our personal lives.
For me the point of supporting this case *somehow* lies in sg784's words above. Unfortunately, such a case is never going to be simply 'about a mw and a birth'--cases against mws have been brought up numerous times in the past 30+ years (ever since homebirth re-emerged), and these cases are increasingly used to make court-judgements and laws that affect all of us. Those judgements and laws ALL concern our power of choice, our individual freedoms and the State's place in all of that.
I can't remember the mw's name right now, but there was a big case against a PA mw a couple years back, that went into the higher courts. The judge who made the last ruling said some very
scary things about the State's place in people's lives--directly stating that the State has a legal interest in the birth/health of citizens...sorry to be so fuzzy here, hopefuly I can find a link and quote him exactly. The point is that his ruling represented another weakening of individual rights, and a greater establishment of the gov's power to make choices for us.
Seems to me more and more in recent years, we are surrendering our individual rights and personal responsibility to a gov that treats us more and more as children in need of State guidance; the State behaves more and more as the Parent who must make decisions for us in order to save us from ourselves. sg784 also said that 'a CPM can't save you'....and what I heard in that statement is that a CPM can't save you from the way life, and birth, IS...can't save you from the reality of personal responsibility'. The gov, more and more, is trying to save us from ourselves, and save us from personal responsibility as well.
And what many do not seem to really comprehend is the degree of political power held by the medical institution. The problem is that at this point, the gov takes the words of med professionals as absolute truth about health and birth; it's a case of 'straight from the AMA's mouth to the gov's ear'. The gov doesn't know beans about health or health care, nothing about all the many valuable alternatives to western medicine; it relies upon 'experts' (lobbyists, consultants) to understand any of it. Never mind if an experienced mw is the true 'expert' on normal birth; only someone with a med degree is considered 'expert enough' to get the gov's ear. The gov has no apparent concept of how much illicit power is held by the med institution, NOT because it is a 'better way' but only because of political and finacial tactics used by the AMA to gain and keep the gov's attention.
How many cases have we seen of forced medical care in recent years? People taken to court to argue over csec, or other medical matters where the family wanted a choice different from the med institution's will for them? Why on earth are courts even making themselves available to this kind of case? Just as the MO Supreme Court ruled that the the MO medical Assoc had no 'standing' to argue against the CPM law (basically, the courts said 'this is none of their business; this argument does not belong in court')...just as the MO Sup. Ct made that ruling, so can other judges everywhere refuse to hear cases concerning family choices in health care. Yet the courts DO hear these cases, and too often rule in favor of the doctors--ruling AGAINST individual choice/rights. We have to think about this if we are not to surrender even more power in our health care and lives. We have to realize that the AMA has won far too much power in our govs--that the AMA is ONLY a professional guild looking to serve it's own profits. And they have found THE best way to maximize profit: to have a gov-endorsed monopoly in health care; to become, in essence, the 'medical branch of gov'.
So to me, this case against Elaine Diamond is nothing so much as a way for the AMA to further consolidate power and profits, by striking another blow against homebirth and family choices. Supporting her case is an opportunity for us to counteract the growing trend of our gov in assuming more and more power in our lives. An opportunity to counteract the growing trend of the AMA to form itself as "The State Medicine", whose permission and practitioners we MUST utilize perforce of law.
I don't ask anyone to surrender their personal opinion about the way a birth was managed by a particular mw (though I do ask you to remember that we really DON''T KNOW enough of the facts to make a clear assessment). I'm not saying you 'should' support her. I am saying that if we don't look beyond the particulars to the Bigger Picture as it impacts us all, we will ALL continue to lose more ground. I am saying--support Elaine's case somehow, only in support of your own rights to choose in birth and all of your health care.