Midwife Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter
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  1. #1
    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Default Midwife Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter

    Do you agree with the Involuntary Manslaughter charge for this midwife?

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Karen Carr is a certified professional midwife. She has delivered over 1,200 babies. But now she is accused of a crime in the death of a baby.

    An Alexandria grand jury has handed up an indictment for involuntary manslaughter. It is shocking to many - including hundreds of women - whose babies she has delivered over the years.

    They describe Karen Carr as "strong, wise, experienced, skilled.” A woman who considers her a mentor even started a website to help with Carr's legal defense.

    John Kenneth Zwerling is Carr's lawyer. He says the child's parents hired Carr after learning that their baby was in the breech position. Carr has safely delivered breech babies vaginally. Most are delivered by C-section.

    "Her main purpose was to help this woman get what she wanted. She felt she was qualified. Her credentials show that she's qualified. History says she's qualified," said Zwerling.

    But in the Alexandria case, the lawyer says the baby's body was out, but his head was caught. The child did not survive.

    Carr is a Maryland resident. She is certified as a midwife, but is not licensed to practice in Virginia. Practicing without a license is another charge she faces in court.

    FOX 5 talked with prosecutor of this case. She said she cannot comment on pending cases.

    The parents of the child are not speaking to the media.
    Read more: http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/loca...#ixzz1K5gkUANf
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    Posting Addict Prudence's Avatar
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    I think the article does not give enough information... Do midwives typically deliver breech babies? Did she perform everything possible in her care to ensure the safe delivery of the baby? What type of contract was signed before she delivered said baby? Did she call for an intervention- ie taking the client to the hospital at some point and the client refused?

    I think there are a lot more details that need to be filled in before a definitive answer could be made.
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    Mega Poster elleon17's Avatar
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    I'm curious more about the details as well.

    Who brought up these charges? The DA? It seems to bear the question of whether or not a women has a choice as to how to deliver her baby. If the mom didn't have a mid-wife and this happened in a home birth, would the mother of the baby be charged? the father?

    I guess I just have more questions than opinions right now
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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    This article give a little more information.


    The parents of the baby were not willing to talk about the Carr case. Krista Boucher, the commonwealth’s attorney who brought the case to Alexandria Circuit Court, did not return a message seeking comment Monday.

    Carr’s attorneys described the allegations in this way: A 43-year-old woman wanted to deliver the family’s first baby at home. She sought out an Alexandria midwife practice, BirthCare & Women’s HealthCertified Nurse-Midwives. But there was a complication; the baby was in the breech position, meaning that it was upside-down rather than having its head closest to the birth canal.

    According to John Kenneth Zwerling, Carr’s attorney, BirthCare advised the mother that the case was too complicated for a home delivery, but she preferred to deliver at home. So she sought out a midwife experienced with difficult deliveries, he said.

    During the delivery at the couple’s home on Sept. 11, with Carr, a birth assistant and a doula helping, the baby’s head essentially got stuck after the body had been delivered, Zwerling said. In such cases the baby cannot survive long, so Carr and the two others worked to manipulate the baby and the mother’s position to finish the delivery.

    The baby, a boy, had a heartbeat but was not breathing, according to Zwerling. Someone called 911 immediately, and those in attendance pushed air into the baby’s lungs until an ambulance arrived, he said.

    The baby was declared dead at a nearby hospital.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...s1D_story.html
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    Community Host wlillie's Avatar
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    I think the only thing she did wrong was practice in a state she wasn't supposed to practice in. If the mother wanted a homebirth and decided to use this midwife and the midwife thought she could handle it, then they should be able to give birth as they please. I wouldn't have done it, but I don't think other women should have that option taken away; especially if the woman had plenty of experience with this same issue.

    Those poor parents. I can't imagine dealing with all of that.

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    Posting Addict TyrantOfTheWeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wlillie View Post
    I think the only thing she did wrong was practice in a state she wasn't supposed to practice in. If the mother wanted a homebirth and decided to use this midwife and the midwife thought she could handle it, then they should be able to give birth as they please. I wouldn't have done it, but I don't think other women should have that option taken away; especially if the woman had plenty of experience with this same issue.

    Those poor parents. I can't imagine dealing with all of that.
    Yep, that. They were turned away from another practice that didn't feel comfortable assisting her. She sought out the services from another midwife that agreed to catch her breech baby. She made an informed decision. Sometimes, there are bad consequences of even informed consent and sometimes things go wrong even when people have knowledge and experience. I feel horrible for the parents though.

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    Just curious, but on what are you basing the idea that she "made an informed decision"? How on earth do you know enough to determine that?

    Perhaps the baby was frank breech and the midwife had never delivered one but said she had. Perhaps the woman declined ultrasound and was relying on palpation and actually was NOT informed as to the correct presentation of the baby. Without knowing particulars there is no way one can speak to the level of information the woman who chose to deliver with this midwife had.

    I could never form an opinion on this one without knowing more details.

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    Posting Addict RebeccaA'07's Avatar
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    It sounds like the Mother was well aware of the complications associated with a breech home birth, especially considering another firm turned her down for delivery because of this.

    Who brought the charges? The parents?

    If anything, the midwife should be charged with practicing w/o a license in the state of VA. She did what was requested of her by the mother. She had successfully delivered breech babies in the past.

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    She should be charged with practicing out of state.

    Unless there is evidence of gross negligence on the mw part (lying about her credentials or completely mismanaging the birth - which it doesn't sound like), I don't think she is responsible for the death of the baby.

    That said, as much as I support homebirths, I don't think this woman should have been at home. Way too many risks and I think both the parents AND the mw were playing with fire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris_w View Post
    She should be charged with practicing out of state.

    Unless there is evidence of gross negligence on the mw part (lying about her credentials or completely mismanaging the birth - which it doesn't sound like), I don't think she is responsible for the death of the baby.

    That said, as much as I support homebirths, I don't think this woman should have been at home. Way too many risks and I think both the parents AND the mw were playing with fire.
    I agree with this. There is a point where complications mean that you are better off in hospital. It sounds like this woman reached that point and still chose to be at home.
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