Homebirth advocate proudly publishes paper with convicted sexual predator

sexual predator, 3D rendering, traffic sign

Homebirth has a #MeToo problem.

Homebirth advocate Rixa Freeze has proudly announced her scientific paper published in conjunction with convicted sexual predator Stuart Fischbein, MD.


The paper is Breech birth at home: outcomes of 60 breech and 109 cephalic planned home and birth center births.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]How can homebirth advocates, who claim to support women against the patriarchal medical establishment, continue to embrace a sexual predator?[/pullquote]

Freeze, an English professor with no medical training, is an unassisted birth advocate who nearly killed her third child at unassisted birth in 2011.

In keeping with the narcissism of the unassisted birth movement, Freeze recorded her labor and birth in excruciating detail and then offered publicly it for the world to admire. She inadvertently produced the ideal teaching video for demonstrating how and why babies die in increased numbers at homebirth.

The video includes the immediate aftermath of the birth when baby Inga became profoundly blue and lost all muscle tone due to lack of oxygen. Ultimately Rixa was forced to provide mouth to mouth resuscitation and fortunately, the baby responded. But the baby could have been born already compromised by lack of oxygen during labor. In that case, she would have required a lot more help. She might have needed real and prolonged positive pressure ventilation, she might have needed CPR, she might have needed intubation. Had she been born requiring any of those things (and none of them were available) she likely would have died.

Apparently there’s no problem if you nearly kill your baby during homebirth. That’s half the fun!

But, in my view, there is a big problem if with you work with a convicted sexual predator. Sexual exploitation is probably the most egregious violation of professional conduct that any obstetrician-gynecologist can commit. Dr. Stuart Fischbein is the infamous “Bedside Man.”

According to the Ventura County Star:

His patient, identified in Medical Board records as S.K., was 14 years younger than he and earning her doctorate degree in psychology. She came to Fischbein’s office in Century City with her fiancee. They wanted to have a baby.

… He performed surgery … to remove a mass in her uterus and called her “sweet pea” in the recovery room. He sat at her bedside for long intimate talks, testifying in a hearing he viewed her as not just a patient, but as a woman…

She said he advised her not to have sex for four to six weeks after surgery. Fischbein said in court he didn’t remember the discussion.

Five days after she was released from the hospital and eight days after surgery, he called and asked to visit her at her home in Los Angeles. They had sex then and again two days later at Fischbein’s home…

The California Board of Medicine placed him on probation for 7 years and mandated a chaperone when he examined patients. Unfortunately it didn’t end there.

Early in the probationary period Dr. Fischbein petitioned the Board for termination of probation. They were appalled to learn what he had been doing since his conviction:

In the Fall of 2007, after Petitioner was placed on probation by the Board, he began working with a screenwriter friend on a … a script entitled “Bedside Man.” … The cover of the script states it is “based on a true story,” and credits “Story by Stuart Fischbein.” A promotional trailer was later made, in which Petitioner was also involved and credited… Although fictional names are used in the story, the script and trailer are obviously based on Petitioner’s version of events. [They] tend to minimize Petitioner’s culpability, make him look more like a victim and his victim less of one, and depict Petitioner as being persecuted for his views on some aspects of medicine.

In an effort to promote “Bedside Man” for financial investment to make a full length movie, the trailer was made accessible over the internet. One hospital where Petitioner was affiliated found out about it and contacted Petitioner’s psychotherapist… From her letter detailing the events, it appears that [she] was readily able to see the impropriety of the project while Petitioner had not…

The Board did not terminate the probation, noting:

He has openly chaffed at the requirement that he have a third party chaperone during interactions with female patients. It is clear that once off probation, the chaperone requirement would quickly disappear from his practice as the lessons learned from these events fade and the inconvenience grows…

More alarming was Petitioner’s participation in the movie script and trailer. This activity shows that Petitioner still harbors bad feelings about what happened to him, suggesting that he does not fully believe he engaged in misconduct… Such a state of mind does not bode well for the proposition of removing Petitioner completely from the Board’s probationary oversight. In all, these events demonstrate sufficient concern over the course of Petitioner’s rehabilitation as to indicate that continuing probation with all terms should continue in order to protect the public…

Rixa Freeze has been a staunch supporter of Fischbein all along. In the wake of the Board refusing to revoke his probation, he was threatened with legal action to remove his hospital privileges. Freeze wrote in a post entitled Another Dr. Wonderful needs your help!:

…[A] wonderful obstetrician, Dr. Stuart Fischbein, is being threatened with disciplinary action by his hospital “for violating hospital policies.” The hospital has already suspended the privileges of the two CNMs he works with, and now he faces a possible loss of his livelihood…

Dr. Fischbein is a vocal supporter of midwifery and home birth. His collaborative midwife practice had a primary c-section rate last year of only 5% … and an overall rate of 12% … compared to his colleagues’ 29%…

So what can you do to help? …

Contribute to Dr. Fischbein’s Legal Aid Fund.

I have a question for Rixa Freeze and other homebirth advocates who continue to support and collaborate with Dr. Fischbein:

How can homebirth advocates, who claim to support women against the patriarchal medical establishment, continue to embrace a sexual predator?

I cannot possible imagine a moral justification for ignoring sexual predation but perhaps they can.