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When a midwife's actions contribute to birth injury or death

When pregnant and preparing to bring a child into the world, the medical care a woman receives during her pregnancy and during labor and delivery matters. Not all women want the full hospital birthing experience. Some prefer home births or a least prefer to have a midwife rather than a doctor at the delivery. In Louisiana, can midwives be held responsible if their actions contribute to birth injury or infant death?

It was recently reported that a midwife in another state is facing civil claims for her alleged role in the injury and death of an infant. On Feb. 8, she was assisting a mother during a home birth that turned out to be more complicated than expected because the baby presented in a frank breech position. Instead of taking the mother to the hospital, they proceeded with the home delivery. The child suffered significant brain injuries during the delivery process and died days later. This case is just getting started and there is no information about what level of compensation the parents are seeking.

In the state where this happened, midwives are not required to have medical degrees. Thankfully, that is not the case in Louisiana. In order to become a midwife here, one must attend nursing school and then go on to graduate school for midwife training. When finished with their training, midwives work under the direction of a physician. This means that if a midwife makes a mistake, the midwife and the physician for whom she is employed can be held responsible when an infant suffers injury or death due to a botched delivery.

Louisiana residents who placed their lives and the lives of their unborn children in the hands of midwives and birth injury or death resulted may seek compensation for their losses through legal means. A birth injury attorney can review the details of one's case in order to determine if filing civil claims is appropriate. If it is, one can be sure that legal counsel will do everything possible to help the client achieve maximum financial recovery.

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