1) Report to Professional Organizations
File a complaint with the midwife’s professional organization, if she has one.
American Midwifery Certification Board (Certifiying board for CNMs and CMs)
**Note: There is no professional organization for DEMs or Lay Midwives
2) Report to the State
If the midwife is licensed (meaning CNMs only in MI), you can file an allegation with the State of MI. An investigator will interview various parties involved and the case will be reviewed for potential sanctions with the Board of Nursing, if it is determined that the Public Health Code was violated.
3) Consult Civil Representation
A civil attorney can help you review your experience to determine if malpractice or negligence as defined by the law has occurred. If your midwife carried medical malpractice insurance, and negligence did indeed occur, finding legal representation in the civil courts would be helpful. If your midwife did not carry medical malpractice insurance, which is often the case in the out-of-hospital birth world, finding representation can be difficult. It’s still worth asking for a consultation to learn more about your particular circumstances, and the events that took place. Consultation is free.
4) Request a Criminal Investigation
You can ask the local police to investigate the events that took place in an out-of-hospital birth. They will conduct an investigation, and relay the findings to the County Prosecutor for review.
If it is determined that a crime was committed, and there is evidence to prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt, criminal charges may be pressed.
Even if it is decided that your case will not be prosecuted, it is worth asking for an investigation becasue this is often the only way County Prosecutors become aware of instances of death in out-of-hopital birth. Awareness can profoundly impact change.