Why in the world would I ever even consider writing a blog post entitled ‘How to Report a Midwife in NY’? Because I care about women, babies, and midwives. Because I believe that quality midwifery care is a way to improve the health of women, babies and families in NY (the rest of the US, and the whole world). Because I believe that the profession of midwifery is worth protecting.
“Any use of the title “Midwife” within New York State requires licensure.
To be licensed as a midwife in New York State you must:
be of good moral character;
be at least 21 years of age; and
meet education and examination requirements.”
In NYS, midwifery is a licensed profession. This means that the state has decided what does and does not count as midwifery and who can and cannot call themselves a midwife. To be a Licensed Midwife in NY, one has to be at least 21 years of age, to have taken (and passed) the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) examination, and one must be of good moral character.
NY takes the licensing of midwives (and other professionals) very seriously.
Because midwifery is licensed and regulated by the state, also means that midwives have to meet at least a minimal level of professional performance. For all it’s licensed professions (including midwives), NYS defines professional misconduct.
“Professional misconduct is defined in Education Law and in the Rules of the Board of Regents. Professional misconduct includes the following:
Engaging in acts of gross incompetence or gross negligence on a single occasion, or negligence or incompetence on more than one occasion
Permitting or aiding an unlicensed person to perform activities requiring a license
Refusing a client or patient service because of race, creed, color, or national origin
Practicing beyond the scope of the profession
Releasing confidential information without authorization
Being convicted of a crime
Failing to return or provide copies of records on request
Being sexually or physically abusive
Abandoning or neglecting a patient in need of immediate care
Performing unnecessary work or unauthorized services
Practicing under the influence of alcohol or other drugs”
NY takes the professional misconduct of midwives (and other professionals) very seriously.
If anyone believes that a NYS Licensed Midwife is acting negligently, abusively, illegally or outside the scope of their care, the concern can be reported to the state through the Office of Professional Discipline (OPD). Any reports of misconduct received by OPD will be reviewed, and investigated. If the investigation reveals that misconduct did indeed occur, appropriate penalties will be determined.
“A range of penalties that includes censure and reprimand, fines (up to $10,000 for each violation), suspensions and/or probationary terms may be imposed on licensees who have committed misconduct. The Board of Regents takes final action on the most serious cases of misconduct. In severe cases of misconduct, the Regents may revoke the professional’s license. Information on uncontested determinations in which a licensee has been assessed a fine for committing an infraction of a minor and technical nature are available by phone: 518-474-3817, fax: 518-474-1449 or e-mail: email@example.com, or by writing to the Office of the Professions.”
This link provides the form to fill out (and sign) and the addresses of OPD Regional Offices. Concerned persons can also call the toll-free complaint hotline: 1-800-442-8106
Why in the world would I ever even consider writing a blog post entitled ‘How to Report a Midwife in NY’? Because I hear stories all the time about alleged bad behavior of midwives. Many of these stories are tales born of fear and ignorance, the person telling the story has no idea of what happened or what a midwife actually does. Many of these stories are tales repeated over years, even decades and have nothing to do with currently practicing, NY licensed midwives. But if there is actual misconduct happening by a midwife, it needs to be reported, and the midwife’s behavior needs to change. For the good of us all.
May all babies be born into loving hands
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