By Tracy G. Cassels

I must admit that every time I open up an issue of Re:Birth and go through it to do this little write up, I feel like it’s something that has been written just the other day.  It’s a sad reminder of how far we have to go to get things back to the way they used to be.  I want to highlight the primary article in this current volume though as it is the summary of a case in Ontario that paved the way for the legalization and licensing of midwifery in Ontario.  The case is one of many that sadly still go on today.  It is the case of Daniel MacLaughlin-Harris who was a planned home birth, but who sadly died two days after birth after suffering hypoxic-ischemia encephalopathy (birth asphyxia).  A Coroner’s Inquest was called and the battle between the medical profession and midwives ensued.  Luckily, the jury responded positively to the evidence presented by the defence and made recommendations that would allow midwifery to start to regain some of its status.  Sadly, not all of the recommendations are in full force and certainly not in all parts of the country (much less world).  For example, even in Ontario, there are few birthing centres and doctors still don’t attend home births (something that would go a long way to help normalize the practice).  However, the story of the Inquest is a great read, as is the rest.

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I hope you enjoy!