The human rights scandal at Human Rights in Childbirth

Media blind - censorship concept

Poor Hermine Hayes-Klein. She came to this blog to call my bluff and instead I called hers. She’s been dealing with the ugly fallout ever since.

And in doing so, Hayes-Klein has exposed not one, but two human rights scandals at Human Rights in Childbirth.

The rest of the professional natural childbirth and homebirth advocates would have told her to stay away. I don’t bluff, I can eviscerate ridiculous claims in short order, and I don’t give up.

Hayes-Klein parachuted in to comment on Friday’s post Why is Human Rights in Childbirth protecting the doctor in the so-called “Forced Episiotomy” video?. Hayes-Klein wrote:

Dear Dr. Amy, it is heartening to read your assessment of this video as “incompetent and negligent.” Perhaps you would be willing to serve as an expert witness if and when “Kelly” finds a California lawyer willing to bring a case for damages and redress. Amy, your voice has great value in the maternity care debate. Would you write some more about what you think the doctor could have done differently in that video? Do you think he violated her right of informed consent and refusal? Please comment.

And I promptly answered:

I’d be happy to serve as an expert witness. Moreover, I’d be happy to assist in finding a lawyer who would take the case; my husband is a trial lawyer. Just tell me: in what hospital and city/town did this take place? Who is the doctor in the video? Has any complaint of any kind been filed against him? Feel free to contact me privately …

Oops, that’s not what Hayes-Klein was expecting.

Hayes-Klein promptly disappeared but continued the discussion on the Facebook page of HRiC and on the website page showing the “forced episiotomy.”

HRiC 1

Hayes-Klein bizarrely claimed:

HRiC does not have the goal of stirring up a witch hunt against this doctor …

My response:

An organization that really cares about human rights in childbirth would be prosecuting this case with zeal. The fact that you are not prosecuting it in any way and that you refuse to protect the rest of the public by identifying the doctor and the hospital indicate that you aren’t really interested in human rights in childbirth, just in shilling business for the natural childbirth industry.

It seems bizarre that HRiC would portray an effort to stop this doctor from treating other women in the same way as a “witch hunt.” I would call it the only possible ethical response if what happened is what Hayes-Klein claims happened.

HRiC 2

Later in the day, Hayes-Klein started to get a little panicky:

I challenge any one of you hater “skeptics” accusing us of staging the forced episiotomy video (!) to do something more productive; go on record stating that episiotomies Do require informed consent and that No Means No in childbirth.

My response:

YOU are the one who could do something productive if you wanted to do so. You could identify the doctor in the video, as well as the hospital where this incident took place. At a minimum, this doctor should be reported to the hospital and to the California Board of Medicine. I can’t think of a single legitimate reason why this has not been done, and apparently neither can you…

It is yet another example of the fact that organizations that claim to be concerned with human rights in childbirth don’t care at all about the human rights of mothers, except to the extent that their misfortunes can be exploited to promote midwifery and homebirth.

Of course, Human Rights in Childbirth is not a human rights organization. If it were it would it would have people on its advisory board who are trained in law, philosophy and human rights. Instead it is just a collection of homebirth midwives shilling for business. It is just like an other astro-turf organization. It claims to have a lofty purpose, but its true purpose is to increase market share and profits for homebirth midwives by fomenting distrust of obstetricians.

HRiC 3

I subsequently asked:

Tell me, Hermine, what do you and your organization actually DO to promote human rights in childbirth …? What lawsuits have you brought? What medical complaints have you filed? Who have you helped?

And that’s when Hermine Hayes-Klein went into full panic mode and started deleting comments and banning commentors. It suggests that she knows her decision to protect the identity of this doctor and her failure to file an official complaint against him are both indefensible. She is embarrassed, and rather than do the right thing and protect women from this doctor, she prefers to erase the evidence of her complicity in his continued freedom to treat other women the way he treated the woman in the video.

Deleting comments = consciousness of guilt.

So the first human rights scandal at Human Rights in Childbirth is the organization’s failure to protect the human rights of the woman in the video or, indeed, or any women at all.

The second scandal is that human rights in childbirth apparently does not include the right to free speech. In a classic authoritarian move, Hayes-Klein erased any evidence of her failures and silenced anyone who would dare question her.

Human Rights in Childbirth is a scam; Hermine Hayes-Klein is a hypocrite; and the true purpose of the organization has nothing to do with human rights and everything to do with increasing business for homebirth midwives by fomenting distrust of doctors.

Who would have guessed?

104 Responses to “The human rights scandal at Human Rights in Childbirth”

  1. SisterMorphine
    October 9, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    Well, I *am* actually a lawyer, and all I can say is that her “pro hac vice” comments make absolutely *no* sense. Yes, for an out-of-state attorney to get admitted to a particular case, she needs a state-sponsoring lawyer. She acts as if it’s a major bar to her actually DOING anything about this legally. Yet, leaving aside that Mr. Dr. Amy doubtless knows at least one or two med mal attys in CA, the sponsoring attorney can be pretty much anyone with a valid law license (and it’s hard to lose your law license for anything less than a major felony). My guess is she’s using the terminology to try to confuse her readers. But again, it’s not like she actually cares about “Kelly’s” options for “redress,” or anything else but promoting her agenda. I also simply can’t believe she couldn’t find a lawyer anywhere in California to take her case–that assertion has to be either misinformed or simply lying. I’ve certainly known some (granted, not terribly ethical) lawyers who would have taken the case hoping for a quick-turnaround “nuisance value” settlement.

  2. Squillo
    October 6, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    I really don’t get why they can’t answer the simple question about who the doc is or what has been done to prevent him from harming another woman. They posted a petition to ask the California AG to “hold hospitals and licensed care providers accountable for violations of informed consent and abuse imposed on laboring women.”

    They detail the letter and meetings Kelly had with the hospital and the fact that she couldn’t find a lawyer to press a civil suit. But nowhere do they say she went through the existing channel–a medical board complaint–that could actually put this case in front of the AG.

    Simple question: did she or did she not file a complaint with the only body with the power to actually prevent this doc from harming another woman?

    • Guest
      October 6, 2014 at 11:47 am #

      I’ll repost my comment from below here:

      “If Kelly wants to sue her doctor instead (HRiC says they are trying to find her a lawyer), would it help or hinder her case to have filed a complaint with the BOM beforehand?”

      • Squillo
        October 6, 2014 at 11:51 am #

        I don’t know. But the petition says she can’t find a lawyer because there was no permanent harm done. So it would appear that the only way to protect women from this doc would be to complain to the MBOC–they’re the ones with the power to restrict or pull his license, or require oversight or retraining.

        I can certainly understand if Kelly doesn’t want to go through all of it, but it’s pretty disingenuous for the organization to suggest that the state of CA isn’t doing its job if no complaint has been filed.

        • Guest
          October 6, 2014 at 11:56 am #

          I wonder if someone advising Kelly has told her she can either 1) complain to the MBOC, possibly holding the doc accountable, or 2) file a lawsuit, possibly holding the doc accountable and getting a settlement and making a media splash in the process.

          When asked if Kelly filed a complaint, HRiC said on their FB thread: “Kelly’s” private process for redress in her case is her business. “

          • Squillo
            October 6, 2014 at 11:59 am #

            If so, I suspect she’s being badly advised. The Lukacs’, for example, filed a complaint and are bringing suit against Robert Biter. They’ve managed to make a media splash as well.

            If Kelly wants her “private process for redress” kept private, I submit that the details of it shouldn’t be on the petition to the attorney general.

          • Squillo
            October 6, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

            I’ll add that it is perfectly possible she did file a complaint and that it was judged without merit. If that were the case, I could certainly see approaching it from the public outrage angle they seem to want to use, but again, I think it’s dishonest to omit that information.

          • Guest
            October 6, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

            No, I doubt that. I’ve seen Cristen Pascucci complain elsewhere that “women’s complaints get ignored and it’s an outrage!” It would add fuel to the fire. They would make a big deal out of that.

          • Guest
            October 6, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

            Thanks. That’s an apt example, since the Lukacs are also in CA.

    • Hannah
      October 6, 2014 at 11:47 am #

      Why make the effort to go through the channels that are already there, when you can just make a petition demanding a state body do what it’s already doing? It’s slacktivism at it’s finest.

  3. DaisyGrrl
    October 6, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    I’ve been wondering if “Kelly” is actually the woman in the video? Did HRiC do anything to verify who the woman was and that the video was hers? It just seems so strange that meaningful offers of help would be completely ignored.

    I think it’s possible that once the ball started to get rolling on ways to help “Kelly” HRiC would have had to admit that they really didn’t know enough to provide help beyond an incendiary post and empty rhetoric. If they knew the doctor and hospital, why protect them and why delete?

    I also think it’s possible that HRiC found the video, decided it was good propaganda, and made up the story to go along with their narrative. But that would be lying and I’m sure they wouldn’t lie about something as important as this to further their own agenda.

  4. MEK
    October 6, 2014 at 7:22 am #

    Here is a suggestion for an explanation for HRIC’s behaviour that maybe should be considered alongside the ones that have been prevailing here:

    although everyone here seems to agree with HRIC that the Dr in this case went over the line and should have never touched the woman without her consent, maybe it is not as easy as people suppose here to get the Dr convicted/charged.

    Why might that not be easy?

    First, the story as related on the various websites, mentions that ‘Kelly’ has tried to seek redress via normal routes. But the hospital, rather than reporting to e.g. the medical board, did not get back to her. So perhaps the medical routes are not as transparent or successful as people here suggest and/or assume.

    Why do people here assume it is easy? Whilst it may be for some, I have the impression in general that getting ones complaints about /dissatisfaction with Dr’s heard can be quite difficult, and that there is a first inclination (perhaps not on seeing the video, but on seeing a complaint on paper, is for the medical profession to at least somewhat stick together). But that is just an impression. It would be interesting to hear why the readers of this blog assume it is so easy to get heard – do we regularly see Dr’s disciplined? Certainly when we do, there tends to be a catalogue of disasters – not one.

    Second, although we all seem to agree on the moral status of this case – Dr = wrong – the legal status may not be so clear, and quite challenging for a lawyer to take on. On the one hand (and in my limited understanding – not a lawyer) the law of informed consent and right to informed refusal are firmly enshrined in law – for non-pregnant women. But in pregnant women these have repeatedly been challenged – e.g. there is mention of various court-ordered C-sections (luckily later overturned) here: [yes, Dr Amy, I know your opinion on NAPW – but the brief paragraph here was quickest link I could find to some court cases].
    Those are c-sections – an episiotomy by contrast is going to be seen as a ‘mere trifle’. I doubt there is any case law about it – in part because [this video notwhitstanding] any Dr charged would argue that the epi was ‘medically necessary’. Given that that argument almost succeeds in overriding consent for c-sections, when it comes to a ‘mere’ epi, lawyers might not judge this to be a promising case.

    So it needs a quality lawyer, and perhaps Kelly does not have the money to pay for a quality lawyer willing to take on an unpromising case.

    I don’t say any of these explanations must be true – I just say that they may be worth considering alongside the rather cynical ones suggested on this blog.

    Perhaps Dr Amy could ask her husband to do a guest-post on how likely he thinks this is to stand up in court, in the context of existing legislation on maternal/fetal rights.

    [note – I want to be clear that I think law and ethics ought to be one side here – Dr is wrong. I just suspect that the legal precedent is not great here.]

    • Amazed
      October 6, 2014 at 7:27 am #

      That’s absolutely no explanation for HRiC behavior. It might be satisfying where “Kelly”, as individual, is concerned. But HRiC was supposedly created to protect, well,the RIGHTS in childbirth. That means fighting tooth and nail to CREATE legal precedents.

      Hermine H-K, as a lawyer, seems to be a mere flower gracing their site. What the hell is she doing there if she isn’t going to fight the legal corner of a woman so clearly violated? Ah yes, fighting for poor prosecuted, err, persecuted midwives.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        October 6, 2014 at 9:36 am #

        Wait a minute, I missed something…HHK is a lawyer? So why doesn’t she take Kelly’s case or help her find a lawyer in the proper jurisdiction?

        • PrimaryCareDoc
          October 6, 2014 at 9:41 am #


          • mek
            October 6, 2014 at 9:42 am #

            think she addressed that: she is not registered in california (not her home state?)

          • Amazed
            October 6, 2014 at 9:44 am #

            Then what good is she, exactly, for women whose rights were violated out of her home state? Why didn’t they name their cute little organization HRiC in HH-K’s home state?

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            October 6, 2014 at 10:01 am #

            So what? She doesn’t have any contacts to help Kelly out?

            Also, my email says that this response is supposed to be the mek, not TCAMY. Not sure who I’m actually responding to!

    • PrimaryCareDoc
      October 6, 2014 at 7:52 am #

      Sorry. No. It’s not that hard.

      And example- I once had a patient complain to the Medical Board in my state that I was “bullying” her. How did I bully her? I told her that if she didn’t start taking care of her diabetes and high cholesterol, she’d probably have a heart attack.

      As ridiculous as this accusation was, it was taken seriously by the Board. I had to provide patient records, and a written appeal. It was eventually found to be without merit.

      But please, don’t tell me that this case would not be taken seriously by the medical board.

    • DaisyGrrl
      October 6, 2014 at 8:49 am #

      There are many ways to seek redress that don’t require a lawyer and a lawsuit. They claim that one letter was sent to the hospital and there was no response. But there are so many other ways to seek redress.

      As many people have pointed out, there’s the medical board. No lawyer needed. I guarantee you that if she had written a letter to the medical board explaining what had happened in her own words and included that video, there would have been action.

      Another avenue is online name and shame. Post a link to the video on doctor rating sites. Name the doctor and hospital in the Youtube video. If the first google hit for the doctor’s name is that video, then his business will suffer. If he’s part of group practice, then name the practice. His partners will address the behaviour. Nothing like an old-fashioned threat to the bottom line to get results.

      Approach local media. Write letters to the newspapers and local TV stations. If the hospital had ignored the woman’s letter, they’ll pay attention when a reporter requests an interview.

      None of these avenues requires a lawyer. They would all bring light to the situation and force the doctor to change his practice (or leave OB). Some of them would actually have a greater impact than a lawsuit might because of the publicity.

      • Squillo
        October 6, 2014 at 10:21 am #

        Exactly. In California, anyone can file a complaint with the medical board. They have an entire web page devoted to the process, and you can even submit your initial complaint online or via their toll-free complaint line. If you sign an authorization for release of records, the board can move ahead with its investigation.

        No lawyer needed by the complainant, but it does take time, as there are three levels of investigation to get through before action is taken.

        • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
          October 6, 2014 at 10:23 am #

          Exactly. In California, anyone can file a complaint with the medical board. They have an entire web page devoted to the process, and you can even submit your initial complaint online or via their toll-free complaint line. If you sign an authorization for release of records, the board can move ahead with its investigation.

          And if an individual isn’t aware of this, you would think that there could be support organizations to help bring awareness and help them do it.

          HRiC is not one of them, of course.

        • Guest
          October 6, 2014 at 11:44 am #

          If Kelly wants to sue her doctor instead (HRiC says they are trying to find her a lawyer), would it help or hinder her case to have filed a complaint with the BOM beforehand?

          • Squillo
            October 6, 2014 at 11:47 am #

            I have no idea–I’m not an attorney, but plenty of people do both.

        • DaisyGrrl
          October 6, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

          The biggest barriers to filing such a complaint are where a non-profit such as HRiC could do tremendous good.
          Imagine having someone to help you understand the process and ensure the forms are completed properly. Someone who will accompany you to hearings and provide support such as childcare and transportation to and from the hearings. Someone who can write letters of support and advocate on your behalf with the hospital, medical board, etc.
          But nah, let’s just post an internet rant instead. I’m sure that will help.

    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
      October 6, 2014 at 9:26 am #

      “It’s hard to fight the system” makes sense to explain why Kelly hasn’t done anything.

      It makes no sense to explain why a supposed “advocacy” group hasn’t done anything to help her.

      For pete’s sake, Dr Amy has offered to help! Not only did they not take her up on it, they deleted any evidence that she did it.

      This isn’t about the challenges of an individual in fighting the system. It’s about a sham organization who is exploiting her without doing anything to help.

      • KarenJJ
        October 6, 2014 at 9:31 am #

        It took my mother 4 years to put in her complaint to the state medical board after an obgyn lied on her chart (this was 30 years ago). An organisation that can provide practical help for women in situations such as Kelly could be a useful organisation (eg legal, emotional etc). An organisation that pats her on the head and says “yeah, that’s rough. Can we show your video on our website to scare other women” appears to be much less useful in my opinion.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        October 6, 2014 at 9:33 am #

        It should be noted that it’s the advocacy organization that turned the help down. We don’t actually know what Kelly did or didn’t do, whether she agrees with the representation of the case HRiC is presenting, or that she even exists. If all is how it appears, she may be very annoyed at HRiC for blocking her from getting help from Dr. Tuteur and her husband.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      October 6, 2014 at 9:31 am #

      I can believe that it’s not easy to get redress against a practitioner who wronged a patient. Hospitals aren’t going to want to admit to things that might leave them open to being sued. Lawyers might not want to take on cases that will result in small settlements (and therefore small fees to them.) But then that’s all the more reason to accept the help of an OB who could serve as an expert witness and her husband who is a trial lawyer!

      I’m also going to second the idea of having Mr. Dr. Amy do a guest post if he’s interested. I think a lawyer’s perspective on this issue would be really interesting and informative. Also I’d like to hear (read) his thoughts on malpractice in general, malpractice in OB, and the problem of seeking redress against midwives without malpractice insurance through the court system.

    • Cobalt
      October 6, 2014 at 9:43 am #

      I can see the system ignoring a young Hispanic woman who doesn’t have the information about the redress process and whose complaint is “only” an unwanted episiotomy.

      HRiC should have the information to change that, and should have done so.

      And it’s possible that after trying limited options Kelly moved on and decided not to spend any more of her time on that doctor, but HRiC is still up for propaganda. Kelly might be totally unaware of Dr. Amy’s offer of assistance, or might be weary of the fight and the “help” she’s gotten so far. Maybe her family is pressuring her into shutting up about it, the grandmother in the video was really pushy about shutting her down. We have no way of knowing anything about how Kelly feels about any of it right now.

      What we do know is that HRiC has been publicly useless.

      • Young CC Prof
        October 6, 2014 at 9:45 am #

        Exactly what I think. The system DOES sometimes ignore legitimate complaints from members of disenfranchised groups, or from individuals who lack social capital or resources with which to fight. Which is why we have actual human-rights organizations, like, say, the Southern Poverty Law Center, to stand up for folks in cases like that.

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
        October 6, 2014 at 9:54 am #

        HRiC should have the information to change that, and should have done so.

        This is based on the assumption that HRiC is an actual human rights-type organization.

        All evidence is that they aren’t.

        Now, it is true that a real human rights advocacy organization should have the information to change that.

        Any similarities between HRiC and a human rights advocacy organization are coincidental.

    • Squillo
      October 6, 2014 at 10:38 am #

      The hospital doesn’t have to report him, Kelly does, as she’s the one who has to sign the release of medical records in order for an investigation to take place, and there is no lawyer required for that. It is very, very easy to submit a complaint, what’s difficult is getting any redress in timely fashion.

  5. Dr Kitty
    October 6, 2014 at 3:13 am #

    So it goes like this;
    HRiC: A horrible thing happened. What you going to do about it, huh?
    Dr T: A much as I can, just give me the details I need to help out.
    HRiC: uh…BRB…actually let’s pretend this never happened.

    • KarenJJ
      October 6, 2014 at 4:10 am #

      I mean, silly us, thinking that an organisation calling itself “Human Right in Childbirth” would want to actually do anything about a violation of human rights in childbirth.. Wow, I just feel so foolish now…

    • Sue
      October 6, 2014 at 4:26 am #

      Their bluff is called, and they run for cover. Zero cred.

    • Smoochagator
      October 6, 2014 at 9:11 am #

      I can understand not wanting help from Dr. Amy, since they seem to think she’s such an ogre. But if Dr. Amy was willing to do something about this, I am 100% sure that dozens of other professionals would be, too. And still… nothing.

      • Amazed
        October 6, 2014 at 9:15 am #

        I cannot understand it. By behaving as if Dr Amy is such a menace, they all but declare that they are all for midwives alone. It’s very unprofessional of them, a declaration that they place their own feelings first, and the interest of women they claim to serve – a distant second.

        • KarenJJ
          October 6, 2014 at 9:24 am #

          They can dig deeper into their victimhood. Dr Amy stays “meen”, women are still treated appallingly and NCB advocates can still spread scare stories. They don’t want change, not those that have worked themselves into positions of power.

          • Houston Mom
            October 6, 2014 at 9:40 am #

            They might not want to change this particular situation but they do want change: increase in market share and eventually more control over maternity care.

        • Smoochagator
          October 6, 2014 at 10:50 am #

          As I said above – Dr. Amy is the “big bad wolf” to NCBers. They don’t believe her capable of any sincere kindness. So I can understand their unwillingness to accept any offer of help from her. But that doesn’t mean they can’t get help from anyone else. Their inactivity makes their real motivation quite clear (i.e. smearing ALL OBs and scaring women into birthing at home).

      • moto_librarian
        October 6, 2014 at 10:14 am #

        Dr. Amy cares more about what happened to Kelly than any of the organizations using her experience to fuel their own propaganda.

        • Smoochagator
          October 6, 2014 at 10:49 am #

          Dr. Amy is the “big bad wolf” to NCBers. They don’t believe her capable of any sincere kindness. I’m not saying they are right, but rather I can understand their unwillingness to accept any offer of help from her. HOWEVER that doesn’t mean they can’t get help from anyone else. The fact that they have done nothing to help “Kelly,” to hold this doctor accountable, or to protect other women from his butchery makes it quite clear what their real motivation is (i.e. smearing ALL OBs and scaring women into birthing at home).

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            October 6, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

            Dr. Amy is the “big bad wolf” to NCBers. They don’t believe her capable of any sincere kindness. I’m not saying they are right, but rather I can understand their unwillingness to accept any offer of help from her.

            Yeah, but SHE was the one who asked Dr Amy, not the other way around.

            Why did she ask for Dr Amy’s help if she didn’t want it? Oh, because she thought she could use it as a gotcha. She bluffed, Dr Amy called her on it.

  6. staceyjw
    October 5, 2014 at 11:53 pm #

    What is their actual excuse for not accepting Dr Amys offer? THEY asked her, not the other way around. I know Dr Amy was genuine when she offered, because she actually understands informed consent and respects women, unlike the NCB cult.

    This is also utterly confusing for a group that claims to mistrust all OBs because they “violate rights”. I would understand if they were being discreet because of a lawsuit, but this not the problem here. If you can share that video, there is no reason at all to hold back the docs info for legal or privacy reasons.

    We all know from experience the NCBers have NO problem at all naming names in order to smear people, why would anyone protect this doc? *These are people that have actual protests over lesser things*- I recall one against the hospital that banned Dr Death (aka Biter). They also have protested the CS rate at hospitals nationwide, and showed up en masse to stop any restrictions on lay MWs here in Oregon.

    All this to ask- why aren’t they out there, trying to crucify this doc? They may have faulty beliefs, but they are organized well enough, are numerous, and have many women with the time to show up to protest (lots of SAHMs). They could do quite a bit to help this women.

    Yet, WE are doing more than they are, as spreading a video with zero info is less than doing nothing at all! And I *guarantee*, if we had the names, some of us would have already helped her file complaints with the hospital, found her lawyers, helped with the process of making a complaint on his license, etc. At the very least, many of us would have already written numerous letters of complaint and spread this online with the docs info, to save other women the experience.

    When it comes to dangerous or disgusting HCP’s, I always say NAME AND SHAME! I cannot imagine they would not want to take this opportunity to crush this docs practice (rightly so). They even have the most damning proof possible! It would be SO easy to get this doc in deep trouble.

    It sure seems like something is very wrong with this situation…..

    • Who?
      October 6, 2014 at 3:41 am #

      And even if there is a reason to not name and shame, reporting to the local medical board can surely be done discreetly and without too much drama?

  7. Sue
    October 5, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    ANother one exposed for that they are. Tick! Next!

  8. dbistola
    October 5, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    It has been a very entertaining and inspiring weekend! Very well played : )

  9. Trixie
    October 5, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    We went trout fishing, recently, at a trout hatchery, where they dump the fish from the hatchery tanks into a stream and then you dangle bait over the lazy, slow, overfed fish until they bite. It doesn’t take long, because they don’t even have the level of cunning a normal wild trout would have. That brilliant Facebook exchange was like you were dangling bait over the mouth of a befuddled trout. It’s a bit sad, really, that none of the NCBers are more formidable opponents.

    • Sue
      October 5, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

      Aka “shooting fish in a barrell”

      • Trixie
        October 5, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

        Deb Puterbaugh is a fish in a barrel. Hermine at least had to be baited.

      • Amy M
        October 6, 2014 at 9:00 am #

        No, eels.

        • Smoochagator
          October 6, 2014 at 9:13 am #

          No, social morays.

          • KarenJJ
            October 6, 2014 at 9:19 am #

            Just this one.

          • KarenJJ
            October 6, 2014 at 9:21 am #

            Perhaps I need to be logged in.

          • KarenJJ
            October 6, 2014 at 9:22 am #

            I am not winning the internet tonight..


          • KarenJJ
            October 6, 2014 at 9:36 am #

            Apologies on the multiple eels… Turns out I overachieved on the picture posting after all..

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            October 6, 2014 at 9:37 am #

            You can never have too many eels.

    • SporkParade
      October 6, 2014 at 12:37 am #

      Well, now I feel silly. The last time I went fishing for trout at a fish hatchery, I came up with absolutely nothing. As my grandpa told me, “It’s called ‘fishing,’ not ‘catching.'”

      • Trixie
        October 6, 2014 at 7:57 am #

        Buy the food they use at the hatchery to use as bait. They’re not used to worms and stuff. But a big dough ball of ground up fish food, they’ll bit immediately.

  10. Ellen Mary
    October 5, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

    I feel like crying, because we really could have used someone standing up for Human Rights in Childbirth & calling out bad actors within the hospital, where the VAST majority of us need & want to birth.

    • CrownedMedwife
      October 5, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

      It’s not the bad actors in the hospital you really need to worry about being called out. There are guidelines for practice & oversight in a hospital. Sites like HRiC take advantage of women by promulgating fears of hospital providers. The sad part truly is that while they are preying on womems fears and exagerating the claims of abuse during birth, they are pushing them towards their own agenda of homebirth where there are few systems in place to call out midwives.

      I’m more disappointed by the deletion of posts and attempts to hide any dialogue, especially those attempts to offer counsel. It was an excellent example of Dr. Amy and others demonstrating an effort to report inappropriate providers, regardless of title or location. Disappointed, but not the least bit surprised.

      • Trixie
        October 5, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

        I don’t get the deleting. Everyone should know by now that everything is screenshotted anyway. So what’s the point?

        • Amazed
          October 5, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

          At least it isn’t on their very own page. With NCBers actively dissuaded from visiting Mean Dr Amy’s nasty site, chances are pretty low that they’d see the screenshots.

          Lower than seeing the comments on the HRiC own page anyway.

          Low-risk posters and higher-risk posters. Pity they aren’t this good at another low-risk and higher-risk distinction.

        • Young CC Prof
          October 5, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

          It actually does deceive the newbies, at least some of the time. Over at ICAN, for example, most of the rank-and-file has no idea how much censorship and deletion go on.

        • attitude devant
          October 5, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

          It’s simple: it’s the only way they can control the narrative. They don’t have truth, or ethics, or rationality on their side, so they have to delete.

          • staceyjw
            October 5, 2014 at 11:15 pm #

            So true. They are low lives down to their core.
            (Hi Addie!!!)

          • attitude devant
            October 5, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

            Hey you! <3s to you!

        • areawomanpdx
          October 5, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

          They know that most of their readers are never going to see the screenshots or the original posts.

          • attitude devant
            October 5, 2014 at 11:31 pm #

            so right. It’s a closed loop.An echo chamber

      • Amazed
        October 5, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

        Shameon went furious all over her blog. She insisted that doctors had each others’ backs and Dr Amy didn’t care about any wrongdoing committed by a doctor. And guess who else I found there? Dreah Louis, enraged that Dr Amy wouldn’t take her daughter’s name off this blog.

        I don’t get her. From time to time, she posts here. Then, she disappears for a long time and emerges at one of the older posts insisting that her story would be taken down because she didn’t give permission (clearly unaware how internet works) and Dr Amy was the Satan himself. She seems unable to choose a course and stick to it.

        • Trixie
          October 5, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

          I really feel for Dreah and I’m sure she’s hurting, and it’s been awful for her fighting those midwives. But Dr. Amy is not the enemy here. As I recall, there was an internet exchange before the birth occurred where Dr. Amy warned her how badly a homebirth could turn out.

          • Amazed
            October 6, 2014 at 6:37 am #

            I don’t know about an exchange but I saw the thread where she announced that hospitals were not needed. At all. In ANY circumstances. She was expressing herself in such a language, being so radical that even the women at babycenter were stunned. When I reached the point she insisted that herbs could help with a heart stroke better than a hospital, I really wanted to reach over and give her a smack right in her smug arrogant face.

            Doesn’t mean that I don’t feel for her. I would feel for any mother who lost her baby. But my, she really fell from a high perch. And with her coming here and there and howling that Dr Amy is a bitch for using her story, vowing that we weren’t worth her time, then coming here to comment anyway and huffing away to cuss at us… I do hope she’s getting the help she needs. It’s clearly too much for her.

            As to Shameon, I really felt that sometimes, she knew she was taking things off the context here and was doing it anyway, just so she could accuse us of being incensitive to women who really survived a trauma. Now, she’s doing it all over her blog. Well, it’s her blog and she’s free to do whatever she wants. But it’s curious.

          • Karen in SC
            October 6, 2014 at 9:18 am #

            Definitively out of context! And don’t dare point it out to her, because she is in the right and Dr. Amy is wrong.

          • Amazed
            October 6, 2014 at 9:43 am #

            Exactly. And not just Dr Amy, all of us. She came across as the tender soul, all in white, to our ogres.

            I wouldn’t engage on her blog. Given the way she is and the way I am, we’ll end up in a huge personality crash which won’t be beneficial to anyone, just undermine her blog which I quite like, generally.

        • October 5, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

          It’s a hard and terrifying thing to come out of a cult mindset. Realizing you’ve been duped about everything you believed in – to your soul – is difficult to comprehend sometimes. And that’s completely apart from having lost a child in this. And sometimes there’s the stuff that led you to the cultthink to begin with, which is what sometimes started the whole cluster. It’s not always easy to get out, even if you have had your “moment of clarity”

        • attitude devant
          October 5, 2014 at 11:42 pm #

          I feel super bad for Dreah. That poor lady. She not only lost a baby but has to parse all these other issues. I have nothing but compassion for her.

  11. guest
    October 5, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    How ironic.. “Human Rights in Childbirth” and they promote home birth midwives, who certainly don’t respect the right of a pregnant woman to make a TRULY informed choice.

    • CrownedMedwife
      October 5, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

      Also ironic HRiC established the Birth Rights Bar Association, yet were unable to assist “Kelly” in retaining counsel, but declined/ignored/deleted offers by Dr. Amy and others to do so. HRiC and BRBA solicits and exploits women’s stories in the name of homebirth promotion.

      • guest
        October 5, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

        Totally. I looked on their FB page and I couldn’t keep reading. It’s full of outright lies about hospitals and obstetrics and how “horrible” medicine is. Very obviously nothing more than a pro-home birth site. It just made me sick. I do hope that some people saw the exchange between Klein and Dr. Amy and put two and two together.

  12. PrimaryCareDoc
    October 5, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    Aren’t these the same clowns who put forth the heroic and important effort to get that hilarious “OB/GYNE Style” YouTube video pulled?

    What would the women of the world do without them to protect their human rights in such a brave fashion?

  13. Tosca
    October 5, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

    I don’t know if it would work in the US (different laws), but a group of sceptics recently gutted an anti-vaccine organisation in Australia by reporting them to the health regulatory bodies. They claimed that the name, Australian Vaccine Network, was misleading.

    It ended up with the AVN being stripped of its charity status, forced to change its name and having a “these nutjobs are dangerous to public health, nobody should listen to them” warning about it and its activities, issued by the NSW Health department.

    Human Rights in Childbirth is a grossly misleading name for what this group actually do. If they’re fundraising under that name, even worse. Is there a Trade Practices commission, or some regulatory body that these people can be reported to?

    • KarenJJ
      October 5, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

      A rename to “Midwife Rights in Childbirth” would be a start and a far more accurate reflection of what their organisation stands for.

  14. guest
    October 5, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    OT: Woman grows potato in vagina as contraception. (Hey, at least it’s not garlic.)

  15. Sara
    October 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

    I just think it’s so bizarre to fall back on a “personal business” excuse whenever her personal business has already been shared with the world. Their indiegogo campaign is all about “conversation.”

    Anyway, I think you can look at the organization’s website and standard disclaimers show that they really don’t do anything. “HRiC does not make any warranties as to the accuracy of any information
    provided, and reserves the right to change any information given at any
    time.” Yet their whole thing seems to be sharing these detailed stories to somehow prove how awful maternity care is. Who cares, if they can’t even stand by the story’s credibility, and have no interest (apparently) in finding out the outcomes, to show failures of the existing systems designed discipline those who violate rights?

    • attitude devant
      October 5, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

      I know, right? They’ve bared her perineum to the world but they are sooooo protective of her privacy when it comes to such simple things as “Is Human Rights in Childbirth gonna file a report with the California Board of Medicine or not?”

  16. CrownedMedwife
    October 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    Honestly, Dr. Amy, your reputation precedes you and NCB advocates know full and well what it means to engage you in discussion. Yet the scramble to delete never ceases to amaze me. I have started to wonder if the scramble for deletions is less about hiding dissenting opinions and more about distracting from the real issues at hand, using the opportunity to claim Dr. Amy is ‘mean’. I, for one, am happy to usually find myself on this side of the debate and it has little to do with whether or not your approach can be ‘mean’. It has everything to do with the fact that you are relentless in your determination to protect mothers and babies, especially when others use claims of Human Rights for their own agendas with blatant disregard for the safety of the public at large. In case no one has said it lately, thank you for being the true advocate of women and babies.

    But in all seriousness, I have to ask whether Hermine and the tropes of others realize they are serving an SOB post on a silver platter in the scramble to censor or delete?

    • attitude devant
      October 5, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

      Hermine has been hampered in this exchange by two things. First she seriously misjudged Dr. Amy, expecting her to post an apologia for the doctor, and having to backpedal when Dr. Amy offered to help obtain redress by acting as an expert witness and even to find a lawyer. Second, because her organizations true aims (support of homebirth midwifery) are hidden behind its title, she’s unable to speak freely without falling into trap after trap.

      The FB page was hilarious, with several posters asking HRiC to help victims of midwives obtain justice. It took them a while to realize they’d been royally pwned.

      • CrownedMedwife
        October 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

        Unfortunately I followed your lead last night and perused HRiC site and FB page as well. Wasted too much time, only came away more disgusted with Hermine & the guise of using HRiC as an organization truly interested in the best interests of women during pregnancy & birth. Realized HRiC defines its concept as promoting vaginal birth and supporting persectued midwives with an occassional consideration of symphisiotomy or court orderes CS. It really is a pathetic site & does nothing to promote human rights. It is blatantly clear their agenda is homebirth and homebirth midwives, NOT mothers.

        On a side note, Hermine’s request for Dr. Amy to serve as expert witness was added bonus. Obvious to see her comments were leading her down a path she didn’t see coming. When the expert witness comment came up, it was obvious she didn’t realize what she’d just done or that Dr. Amy doesn’t hold bias to provider type when it comes to advocating for women. It was just a matter of time before the comments began disappearring and she started trying to cover her tracks.

      • CrownedMedwife
        October 5, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

        Shame on me, but as soon as the deletion began I presumed a coveted Sunday SOB post would be in short order. Battling a nasty URI and not ashamed to admit I was looking forward to a good read during my convalescence!

        • Mishimoo
          October 5, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

          Hope you’re feeling better soon!

    • Guesteleh
      October 5, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

      The scramble to delete never ceases to amaze me either. It makes me froth at the mouth whenever I see it even though it’s 100% predictable at this point. I watched in real time while those evil bitches over at Midwifery Today deleted Amos Grunebaum’s comments after they helped murder Gavin Michael. I shouldn’t be shocked anymore but the shamelessness always takes my breath away.

  17. attitude devant
    October 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    I’ve spent quite a bit of time on their website and FB page and I don’t find anything to suggest the whole organization is anything but a sham. They don’t seem to do anything except fundraise and hold retreats. All the posts on their facebook page are about midwives. I had some hope that a post about reproductive rights in Ireland might actually be about the sorry state of reproductive rights in Ireland (where women have actually died from lack of access to birth control and medically indicated pregnancy termination) but it turns out to be a post in support of a de-registered midwife.

    There’s no work on disparate access to care, or access to adequate nutrition or housing. Nope. It’s all about midwives. It reminds me of Ina May’s maternal mortality quilt project, another showy group that does nothing to investigate or prevent maternal mortality.

  18. Young CC Prof
    October 5, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

    So, to recap, if you contact Human Rights in Childbirth with evidence of a clear-cut human-rights violation, they will NOT:

    1) Name and shame the responsible parties

    2) Provide legal aid

    3) Provide material or financial support in coping with the effects of this rights violation

    4) Help you connect with physical or mental health professionals to aid in recovery.

    They WILL:

    Share your story widely with the implication that it is a normal occurrence.

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