Quick hit: Midwife Cara Muhlhahn sued for negligence
I've blogged about celebrity midwife Cara Muhlhahn on Equal Writes before, but she bears revisiting today because she is being sued for "gross negligence" by a Manhattan couple who are claiming that she was responsible for the stillbirth of their son. Catherine and Ricardo McKenzie, who turned to "outlaw" midwife Muhlhahn after seeing Ricki Lake's documentary The Business of Being Born, are contending that Muhlhahn broke state law by failing to refer Catherine McKenzie to a hospital during her three-day labor. Their lawyer, Richard Reich, said, "This is a woman who identified herself as 'the guardian of safety.' Her practice was anything but safe."
If you read Andrew Goldman's NY Mag profile of Muhlhahn last March, or my post about it here, you know that Muhlhahn has a somewhat checkered and controversial past. She has popularized, and normalized, the idea of home birth significantly. But this particular case has also hurt midwives - inspiring, among other media coverage, a Today Show segment last month titled "The Perils of Midwifery" that sparked much outcry among the home birth community.
I wrote a longer and more extensive post on the Muhlhahn controversy at Care2.com - take a look if you're interested.
What do you think? Are Cara Muhlhahn's practices dangerous, or are they defensible?