Legal

Obtaining and confirming consent

A recent High Court case has highlighted for midwives the importance of obtaining and confirming valid consent Mordel v Royal Berkshire NHS centred on what information had been provided and understood...

Home birth and human rights: Lithuania's turn

In this column I have discussed legal cases presented to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that are concerned with whether having a home birth can be considered a human right (Symon, 2018) The...

Maternity triage: did negligent assessment lead to cerebral palsy?

A recent court case in London (PXW v Kingston Hospital) heard that a baby was born with cerebral palsy, allegedly because of a midwife's negligence when assessing the mother in the maternity...

Claiming damages for psychiatric injury during childbirth

A previous article in this series recounted a court case (RE and others v Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust [2017]) in which a mother successfully sued for damages because she had...

Home birth in Croatia: Is midwifery assistance potential ‘quackery’?

While home birth is supported as an option in the UK, in Croatia those who assist with home birth face possible criminal prosecution for ‘quackery’. Andrew Symon explains

Midwives' employment rights

Suspension is a tool that can be used by employers in a variety of situations, for example while investigating an allegation against a midwife What rights do midwives have when they are suspended or...

Clemency for Hungarian homebirth midwife Ágnes Geréb

Previous articles in this series (Symon 2010; 2012) have noted how women in some other countries, even within the European Union, do not enjoy the same legal rights and protections as women in the UK...

Mediation: A guide for midwives

Humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers (1995:12) once said:

Coercion or consent?

The principle of ‘do no harm’ has been a part of medicine since the Hippocratic oath more than 2000 years ago Expanded upon by the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), this...

The dangerously high cost of poor communication

Many of the legal cases discussed in this column relate to circumstances surrounding the birth Less usual are claims focussing on postnatal issues—particularly breastfeeding—but such a claim has just...

Threatening incarceration for pregnant women who drink alcohol

A recent press release from a county attorney's office in Montana declared that there would be:

Could assisting a homebirth lead to prison?

The case of Ágnes Geréb has lessons for us all Dr Geréb is a Hungarian midwife and obstetrician who has focused on listening to women and providing for their needs by enabling them to give birth at...

Who has a duty of care to keep midwives safe?

Aduty of care exists between employer and employee (Donoghue v Stevenson [1932]; Caparo Industries plc v Dickman [1990]) This means that employers are liable for any reasonably foreseeable harm caused...

Appealing a Nursing and Midwifery Council ‘striking off’ order

The prime function of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is to protect the public, and in the light of recent scandals about maternity care, such as the Morecambe Bay investigation (Kirkup,...

Appealing a decision

What happens when the losing side in a court case decides that it wants to appeal? It is an understandable inclination, especially after what is often years of protracted negotiation and debate;...

Why choose British Journal of Midwifery?

BJM supports midwives by sharing expertise and advice to help you build confidence, grow professionally and improve care.

What's included

  • Evidence-based best practice

  • Peer-reviewed research

  • Practical guidance

  • CPD support

Subscriptions start:

From £12.75 GBP