Dr. Robert Biter, homebirth and the problem of evil


Homebirth kills babies who didn’t have to die … and that’s not the worst thing about it.

The worst thing about homebirth is the way that it countenances and promotes evil.

Homebirth advocates promote evil by deliberately lying about the dangers of homebirth.

They promote evil by opposing any efforts at regulation.

They promote evil by burying dead homebirth babies twice, first in a tiny coffin in the ground, and then by erasing their existence from homebirth websites, blogs and message boards.

They promote evil by deleting and banning those who disagree with them.

But worst of all, in my view, homebirth advocates promote pure, unadulterated evil by aiding, abetting, and praising killer practitioners. Apparently homebirth advocates have never met an incident of babyslaughter that they can’t justify (to themselves). What is babyslaughter? My view is that a newborn death resulting from taking of an unreasonable and high degree of risk should be considered criminally negligent babyslaughter.

Think about it. Has there been even a single episode babyslaughterer that has been held to account by homebirth advocates? If there has been, I haven’t heard.

Quite the opposite, in fact, as babyslaughters from Lisa Barrett to Rowan Bailey are never even questioned by the homebirth community and instead showered with support and money. Apparently homebirth means never having to say your sorry for your role in a baby’s death.

The latest example is Dr. Robert Biter. I’ve been writing about Dr. Biter since his hospital privileges were suspended in 2010.

In the intervening years, Dr. Biter has been the subject of disciplinary hearings that revealed the details of multiple instances of medical malpractice and gross negligence (reports available at the Medical Board of California website). Still his supporters clung on and women continued to hire him to deliver their babies. Then in July of 2012, having already put his signature to a legal document requiring him to have another physician supervise him, he attended a homebirth by himself. The baby died and, as in the previous cases, the findings of the inquiry included malpractice and gross negligence. At that point Biter was stripped of his license.

According the Medical Board’s order, Biter has now agreed that if he ever asks the Medical Board or any other health care licensing agency to reinstate his license or grant him a new license, “all of the charges and allegations” in that accusation will be considered true and correct and could be used against him in the application process.

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Dr. Biter has no license, no malpractice insurance, has filed for bankruptcy to prevent those he injured from collecting legal judgments against him. Now he’s opening a birth center!

Biter declined to answer a series of questions from NBC 7 Investigates. However, he did send a statement, expressing deep concern for the Lukacses.

“The loss of [their] baby was a horrible tragedy and was devastating to all involved,” Biter wrote. “It is absolutely heartbreaking, and despite their animosity towards me, I extend my deepest sympathies to the Lukacses…”

Biter also said he is “committed to ensuring no other family is faced with a similar tragedy.” He also confirmed that, “I am no longer practicing medicine in California…”

Biter is still receiving support from homebirth advocates:

UTC resident Kelli Auld said Biter delivered her daughter, who is now 2. Auld has known the doctor for six years and considered him “a member of our family.”

“To me, it’s a travesty he can’t practice there. I know he’s going to find all the people who are trained and have the expertise to run an amazing birth center,” Auld told NBC 7. “There’s no one I would trust most with my body, my baby, with future babies.”

“There’s nobody like Dr. Biter. We feel at a loss that we can’t have him as our doctor anymore,” Auld said.

Biter denies that he will attend patients at the Center:

Biter told NBC 7 Investigates that he will not “be providing clinical services at Babies By the Sea Birthing Center, where my role will be purely administrative.”

But Amber and Michael Lukacs insist that Biter’s presence at this center is a danger.

“It’s Robert Biter’s birth center, so he’s inherently involved in everything,” Amber said. “I don’t believe he’s going to sit in the back office and push paper.”

I suspect that his supporters don’t believe that he’s going to sit back and just push paper, either, and that is evil.

Of course homebirth advocates, particularly professional homebirth advocates, can easily prove me wrong. I’d like to see Ina May Gaskin, Henci Goer, Melissa Cheyney and other professional homebirth advocates publicly call for Biter’s dismissal from the Birth Center. If they truly care about homebirth safety, they would be shouting from the rooftops that unsafe practitioners should be banned and punished.

Any homebirth advocate who doesn’t protest against Dr. Biter’s involvement in this Birth Center is part of the pervasive evil in the homebirth movement, allowing a babyslaughterer to continue in their midst as if the lives of the people he hurt and the lives of the baby who died are utterly irrelevant.