We continue to add signatures to the Change.org petition expressing revulsion at the behavior of Midwifery Today Editor Jan Tritten in connection with the death of a baby. As of this moment, 439 people have signed.
If you haven’t signed yet, I urge you to do so. In addition, the comments left at the bottom of the petition are worth reading. Some are very moving.
It was only a matter of time before homebirth midwives began leaking details of the case, and making manifest what I had only suspected. Many homebirth midwives, in addition to Jan Tritten, are aware of what happened in this case. Their highest priority is to make sure that the midwife or midwives responsible are never held to account.
Christy Collins, a Las Vegas Midwife, shared quite a bit on Facebook (since deleted):
The story strains credulity to say the least. Suddenly there is a physician involved. Jan Tritten didn’t mention a physician, and specifically stated that the midwife did NOT have to transfer care to any physician. But in Christy’s version, it is the physician who is caring for the patient, the midwife is an innocent bystander, and it is the midwife who recognizes that the baby is having a bradycardia, not the obstetrician or the radiologist doing the scan. Really? And if that isn’t enough, Christy insists that the doctor announced that the baby had been doomed from the previous day and could not have been saved under any circumstances, raising the question of why the obstetrician was ordering tests on a baby he knew could not survive.
Christy was not the only one sharing. Laura Hopper, a Utah homebirth midwife (who was coincidentally as a neonatal resuscitation workshop in Las Vegas last weekend) weighed in, too.
I asked Christy on her own Facebook page whether she was the primary midwife in the case. She responded by deleting my question, deleting the entire area on her Facebook page where people can ask questions, and she sent me a Facebook message:
No, I’m not, but enough details had been passed around to select midwives to realize it was not what got created on Jan’s page, and it was NOT Jan. Someone needed to say something…
Good to know, Christy. So tell us who is the midwife.
I’m sorry, you know I can’t do that. Coming to the defense of others is something I will do if I feel that their actions were defensible. With what I have heard, and with what others posted, they were. It was presented by the midwife poorly, but the actions taken up to that point and past appear to have been within OB protocol…
So Christy has considered the situation, absolved the midwife and is moving on. But that’s not how it works, Christy. Impartial medical personnel should be evaluating the care that the patient received, not the friends of the midwife. And as long as we are discussing principles, Christy, you have nothing to be proud of. “Coming to the defense” of a midwife involved in a fatality by hiding the identity of that midwife is not ethical behavior. It’s the exact opposite.
I conveyed that to Christy, and she revealed her knowledge of the law to be as deficient as her knowledge of ethics:
… If I see my name associated with her situation per your doing again though, I will take legal action.
Ummm, Christy? YOU associated your name with the baby’s death on a public Facebook page. YOU have no basis to take legal action against anyone.
Where does that leave us?
We now know that quite a few midwives are aware of this debacle because the primary midwife shared the details. They have deliberately chosen to maintain a conspiracy of silence to protect the homebirth midwife from accountability.
Jan Tritten has disappeared, supposedly to be with her family. Rather ironic considering that what she is hiding from is the destruction of someone else’s family. Midwifery Today is refusing to make any statement of any kind. The Midwives Alliance of North America is utterly silent (of course, they are currently having bigger problems; the integrity of their study claiming that homebirth is safe has been demolished by Brooke Orosz, PhD). Melissa Cheyney, Head of the Board of Direct Entry Midwifery in Oregon has ignored the dead baby entirely.
They don’t seem to realize that their efforts to obliterate the life and death of this baby confirms so much of what I have been writing about them over the years.
I’d like to end this update with a shout out to my new best buddy, homebirth midwife Marlene Waechter. Marlene posted the following on Jan Tritten’s Facebook page:
Why is Marlene my new best buddy?
I spend my days trying to alert American women to the dangers of homebirth midwives and the horrific deaths at their hands. I can tell women that they are uneducated, untrained and unacceptable in any other country. I can tell women that they aren’t midwives, but lay “birth junkies” who care more about their experience than whether a baby lives of dies. I can tell women that there are no safety standards in homebirth midwifery and no accountability. But I can’t do it alone. People like Marlene, demonstrating a stomach turning contempt for the death of this baby, whining that being held to account is being “picked on,” and offering support to the midwife involved in a baby’s death instead of to the family of the dead baby, make my job so much easier.
American women need to ask themselves: do you really want to be attended at birth by women like these, who won’t care if your baby lives of dies, and will protect themselves and each other from any accountability?
It’s time to abolish the CPM credential. It is nothing more than a public relations ploy that allows homebirth midwives to prey on unsuspecting women and their babies.