Corrective action needed by the Washington State Department of Health

Corrective action needed by the Washington State Department of Health

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Any Licensed Midwife started this petition to Governor Jay Inslee and

Recently, the Washington State Department of Health took action that is destructive to our community and is dangerous to consumers. Ironically, the results created violate the Department of Health’s (DOH) mission and values. It also highlights the need for a midwifery board or commission; one who understands the practice of midwifery and out of hospital birth. Please support our organized effort to address and correct this issue. Many states model after Washington's midwifery rules, laws and regulation. Setting this precedent has consequences for midwives in Washington State but my ripple to other states as well. Out of state signatures welcome!

How we got here:

While serving as primary midwife for an experienced client of mine, a complication arose in the out of hospital birth setting and I transported the client to a local hospital. The hospital I transferred to filed a complaint with the DOH against myself and my birth assistants who were present at the labor. My birth assistants were another licensed midwife (LM) and a registered nurse (RN). While the nursing board quickly dismissed the complaint against the RN, the DOH initiated a formal disciplinary action against the (LM) birth assistant present during labor, alleging that she engaged in unprofessional conduct when she “failed to intervene, or provide any guidance, advice or comments…”. Though the Department of Health did initiate a proceeding against me (which I intend to fight), that proceeding was of lesser severity than the proceeding it initiated against the (LM) birth assistant!

Who does this impact?

While this is my experience, in reality, I could be any one of the dedicated Licensed Midwives in Washington state.

This impacts each and every member of the Midwifery profession and their ability to:

FIND a birth assistant

SERVE as a birth assistant

OBTAIN malpractice insurance at a reasonable cost

BE ASSURED proper autonomy in their own practice

FACILITATE safe and secure out of hospital births

It also impacts ANY WASHINGTON STATE CITIZEN WHO SHARES THE MISSION OF THE WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO PROTECT AND IMPROVE THE HEALTH OF ALL PEOPLE IN WASHINGTON STATE


Follow our group on Facebook for more information and to keep updated: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1884563588321751/

The Washington State Department of Health’s MISSION

The department of health works with others to protect and improve the health of all people in Washington State.

One of the ways the state says they will accomplish this is by “leading changes in policies systems and environments to prevent illness and injury”.

The Washington State Department of Health’s values:

Ethics - “We explicitly identify and debate the principles and values that guide our public health decision making, and we identify and include stakeholders in that process.”

Diversity - “We actively seek to understand the life and work experiences, skills, talents, cultures, ancestries and histories of our employees and the public to better serve everyone.”

Respect - “We take the time to ask ‘questions for understanding’, and fully consider other points of view before we make decisions.”

Communication - “We engage in timely, responsive, effective, and open information sharing to improve our work and maintain our reputation as a trusted source of health information."

Collaboration - “We work side-by-side with partners, communities, and individuals to improve health and support a strong public health system.”

WE THE UNDERSIGNED FIND THE RECENT AGGRESSIVE PROSECUTION OF A BIRTH ASSISTANT BY THE WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO BE DETRIMENTAL TO PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY, A DIRECT VIOLATION OF THE DEPARTMENTS OWN MISSION AND VALUES AND TO BE BEYOND THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT SERVES THE COMMUNITY. WE ASK FOR A SWIFT CORRECTION OF THIS ACTION TO MINIMIZE THE ULTIMATE IMPACT ON THE HEALTH AND WELL BEING OF THE PUBLIC.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!