This subdirectory is currently devoted to news, information and documents on the Legislature’s Sunset Review of the MBC and all its licentiates, which of course includes licensed midwives.
Hearing was held on March 11th, at the State Capitol Building in Sacramento — see post for March 12, 2013 for report.
BACKGROUND: The Senate Committee reviews all the duties of the Medical Board, including its regulatory authority over the licensed practice of midwifery and any problems the Board or the public is having with the program or the midwives it licenses. This also includes OBs who have complaints about PHB, or are upset about LMs who don’t have a supervisory agreement with an obstetrician (99% of LMs who attend OOH birth!).
You can read the Medical Board’s entire document (all 400 pages!) as provided to the Sunset Review committee. After it loads in your browser, search on the word “midwife” (or ‘midwives’) and let the program skip you forward about 350 pages until you get to Appendix I (this is “I” as the first letter of island).
This section is about 12 pages long, is very informative, but also a little disturbing. For example, it characterizes the issue of ‘supervision’ to mainly be a med-mal issue for physicians. As for LMs, it suggest our problem with supervision is because we don’t want any limits put on our practice. As we all know, neither is true.
In relation to obstetrical supervision, the Medical Board is asking the Senate Business & Professions Committee to write new legislation amending the LMPA. At present (02-16-13) we have NO idea what this means — redefining supervision in alignment with the Mfry Council’s proposed regulation OR something very different ?
DATES for SUNSET REEIW EVENTS: No info on scheduled events at present
For additional information (times, etc) check the websites for the MBC, the Senate P&B Committee OR the California Association of Midwives.
Links to useful documents and background material, etc:
My letter to California Legislature B&P Committee staff GV Ayers Critical information about midwifery legislation & midwife-physician relationship issues
The Conundrum of Obstetrical Supervision of California-licensed Midwives ~ A legal impossibility created & vigorously maintained by organized medicine (2007)
I wrote this document in 2007 for then-Attorney General Jerry Brown and presented to him in person along with a document archive taylor-made for his office. This consisted of a 3-ring notebook containing over 4 pounds of historical and contemporary documents on the history and politics surrounding California midwifery laws. In particular, the archived focused primarily on documents relative to obligatory obstetrical supervision, which was imposed by the CMA in 1974 in the Nurse Midwifery Practice Act and has allowed the obstetrical profession to control the profession of midwifery by first mandating physician supervision, and then refusing to provide this legally essential service for 40 years.
The LMPA contains an identical supervisory provision that systematically unavailable to LM who provide care in OOH setting. In my opinion, a law that simultaneously cedes control over one professional group to a competing profession and then permits them to refuse to provide this essential services is unconstitutional.
This 1994 document was the result of my legal research on the both the political and the legal background of midwifery prior to the passage of the LMPA. It is informative but represents an earlier perspective on the issues, including the idea that the medical profession should not be permitted to regulate the practice of midwifery (as is now the case).
Kansas Supreme Court Decision: 1996 ~ Ruling that Midwifery is NOT the practice of medicine, affirming the lawful practice of independent midwifery
This is an actual copy of this Kansas SC Decision – it is excellent and one can only wonder how different the lives of midwives and mothers if the 1976 decision by the California Supreme Court had come to these conclusion instead of the Bowland Decision, which as we know is a source of on-going grief for Californians.