7 January 2011

New Vocab, quickly:

  • spec, spic – look, see – as in spectacles, an object that helps people to see, also known as glasses
  • spir – breathe – as in respiration, the process of breathing
  • spont – by one’s own force – as in spontaneous, describes something someone does for their own reasons, usually on the spur of the moment.
  • tang, tact – touch – as in tangible, capable of being touched

Today Monica Brasile presented on “Midwifery as Civil Disobedience.”  Her presentation focused on several components:

1.  The Context.  During this component she explained the history of midwifery and birth, predominantly in the West.

2.  The Current Situation.  During this section, she explained the different kinds of midwives and the laws that prevent Certified Professional Midwives (a national qualification) from practicing in Iowa.  She also explained which states permit CPMs to practice and which states do not, as well as which states have legislation pending. Finally, she explained that while midwifery is not illegal in Iowa, midwives can be convicted of “practicing medicine without a license,” a felony.  Finally, she explained that this is difficult since midwifery is based on the notion that labor and birth are not medical acts and that midwives do not practice medicine.  In fact, she said, midwives refer and transfer mothers who need medical attention to doctors and hospitals where they can receive the care they need.

3.  Melanie’s Story.  In this part, she explained what happened to Melanie, a midwife in Eastern Iowa, who was charged with a felony.

4.  Q&A.  In this section (and throughout her presentation), she took questions from us and answered them.

Monday we will discuss “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”  In the lab.

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