Nebraska Midwife Charged In Failed Delivery, But Is She Wrong?
A Nebraska woman claiming to be a midwife was arrested after a baby delivery went wrong. The baby died after being placed on life support at a local hospital two days later. 36-year-old Angela Hock was arrested following the incident. But Hock’s arrest is certain to be a divisive and polarizing issue (keep reading).
Nebraska Midwife Incident – What Happened
Hock is the owner of Nebraska Birth Keeper but is allegedly unlicensed to perform those services. Hock has been booked on homicide child abuse charges.
25-year-old Emily Noe signed up for Hock’s services, likely spending between $3,000 and $4,000 in fees. On June 15th, Noe went into labor and Hock attempted to deliver the baby. But when the Omaha Police Department arrived at Noe’s home, the baby remained in a breech position. According to first responders, the baby was “partially delivered, still in the breech position.” The medics claim Hock was still attempting to deliver Noe’s baby when they took over. Paramedics were able to deliver the baby in an ambulance.
According to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, who’s doctors placed the baby on life support, Noe’s baby had been deprived of oxygen for at least 10 minutes. This caused the baby’s brain to swell, which eventually led to death two days later after life support was pulled. Medical staff claims the death is a result of unqualified care and that proper medical care could have saved the baby’s life.
The father, Crayton, thanked people for their support on social media. But has since removed the post.
Nebraska Midwife Regulations
In order to perform midwife duties in the state of Nebraska, you must have a graduate level education. You are also required to have a national certification from the American Midwifery Certification Board. According to police, Hock has no certification or medical license.
Hock has a website advertising her services and citing her credentials. So far, the site remains online.
“Though I possess knowledge in many birthing techniques, I am a natural undisturbed home birth advocate. I believe that we were created to birth without invention and that women possess the God-given wisdom and intuition to birth their babies free from regulation. I also believe in women making truly informed choices about their births.” Hock says on her website.
Hock makes no claims that I can find regarding any certifications. She does say that her inspiration for becoming a midwife is the result of being “repeatedly lied to during my induction” with her second child.
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“I believed his induction birth was fighting against nature, which felt wrong.” She goes on to say.
Hock also notes that she homeschools her children. It is unclear whether or not she is homeschool compliant in Nebraska. It is also unclear whether or not the testimonials on her site are authentic. However, a former client named Amariah Faith Gesinski told NBC News she’s supportive of Hock.
“I believe every woman’s right to birth whenever, however and with whomever she chooses,” Gesinski said.
Parents May Side With Midwife Based On Women’s Reproductive Rights
The case is certain to polarize the community and potentially, the nation. Many people who advocate for medical freedom may see Hock’s case as an attack on rights. While others will see a botched delivery under the supervision of an unlicensed home birth provider as an egregious and deadly act. It is unclear if Hock potentially lied to Noe regarding her credentials, however, her website shows no indication that she did.
But this case’s complexities run deeper than what meets the eye.
Many women may view Hock’s arrest as an attack on a woman’s right to choose. Much like the abortion issue is considered by many to be the right of a woman, many women view selecting a midwife in the same way. If Hock didn’t lie to the Noe’s, then the Noe’s likely chose with a full understanding of Hock’s credentials. And it’s important to note, Hock already has former clients supporting her. The fact that her site remains online may be an indication that she and her legal team are confident in their case (that’s just me playing armchair lawyer).
Does The State Have The Right To Prevent Midwife Services?
Pittsburgh Attorney Joe Pometto breaks down the legal elements of the case.
He says that by charging an unlicensed practitioner, “women may go completely unassisted” and it could have a “chilling effect.”
Should a woman have the right to choose who delivers their baby beyond a state-mandated list? That’s the other side to the coin. This isn’t just a battle between the state and potential midwives. State laws also restrict women from choosing their preferred birthing services when those services lack state certifications.
It’s also relevant to state that babies die in hospitals on a daily basis. Rarely, are medical staff charged criminally. Whatever your opinion, this case is likely to be scrutinized on a national level. It’s sure to be a divisive topic for the next few months.
Should a woman be forced to have her child delivered by a state certified medical practitioners? Should a midwife be forced to comply with state programs? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.