Midwives perform an important role in the community, providing invaluable service to many families, particularly pregnant mothers. Many would-be parents choose to have midwives around at the time of their baby’s delivery, whether they prefer a hospital or a home birth. Midwives offer a more individualized birth plan, one that can be customized to provide the would-be mother an approach that will meet their needs and preferences.
However, midwives are far from perfect, regardless of their experience and training. While most home births are safe especially when supervised by a knowledgeable practitioner, there are some instances in which malpractice occurs due to recklessness or negligence. To protect the interests of the child and the mother, it is important for would-be parents to understand their rights and what they can expect if negligence does occur.
Can Midwives Be Sued for Medical Malpractice in FL?
Midwives specialize in normal birth and they provide care for the mother and child during the antenatal care period. They also provide support during the mother’s labor and delivery. Their care can also continue for as long as 28 days after the delivery. Should an injury occur during this time due to the midwife’s negligence and/or recklessness, the parents can sue for medical malpractice in Florida.
Florida statute allows midwives to care only for mothers who expect a normal pregnancy, labor, and birth. A Florida midwife may be legally liable if she fails or neglects to consider that a pregnancy may be more complicated than she can handle. If the pregnancy is indeed too difficult, the midwife is required to refer the case to a professional medical practitioner. Midwives are also required to know any health conditions that the patient may have that may result in complications later. These health conditions may include hypertension, diabetes, heart problems, and other issues that may result in a high-risk pregnancy.
Working with a Professional Doctor
Midwives are also required to work with a licensed medical doctor during the pre- and post-natal periods to ensure that there are no problems with the mother or the child. Florida also requires patients to sign an approved “Informed Consent” form to indicate that they understand the limitations of the services the midwife has to offer.
Plan of Action
A midwife must have a written action plan that will detail the steps and procedures she is required or expected to follow to ensure that the care and treatment of the mother and neonate are prioritized. Failure to do so makes the midwife liable for medical malpractice.
Do You Need Professional Help?
If you or your child has suffered from an injury due to the negligent or reckless action/s of a midwife, consider the support of a legal professional. Many of the problems associated with pregnancy or birth are preventable, and if your midwife failed to provide sufficient and correct assistance before, during, and after delivery to you and your child, you may sue for medical malpractice in Florida and receive just compensation. A trained and experienced medical malpractice attorney in West Palm Beach can examine your case to determine what you can do to protect your rights and the rights of your child.