Dear Licensed Midwives:
Today's e-mail brought the sad notice (and a plea for help to all midwives) for a LM who has just had her license revoked/suspended/surrendered.
Within the last couple of months another LM contacted us on the very eve of the mandated surrender of her license after a five year battle. We had never hear of her case or from her in all those years.
At virtually the last moment she called us for help. That is similar to waiting until you have drowned before you reach out for the life saver ring that had floated beside you the entire time.
PLEASE do not make this mistake again. Spread the word that the instant you have reason to believe you may be targeted by the MB enforcement for a specific case (i.e. a transport with bad out comes or any case with a bad out come) CALL US and we can begin assisting you.
If the Med Bd. has sent you notice of investigation or inquiry (i.e. "please come in to speak with us") CALL US AS SOON AS YOU FINISH READING THEIR LETTER.
We have a record of being able to intercede on behalf of persons who are subjects of MB enforcement but if it goes deep into the process our chances of effecting any meaningful relief become slim to none.
IF you have a situation that is likely to spark interest:
1) DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT.
Do NOT "rewrite" your notes done at the moment but do write overview and summation notes as soon as you are able to get paper and pen together.
2) Never hand your original notes to the doctor, hospital staff or anyone else. Always ask to use their copier and copy your notes and give the copies, marked as such, to the medical personnel who needs them. Keep your originals.
Make copies of your delivery notes, mark them as such, and place them into the client file. And then copy that entire file and leave the copy in place.
Place originals and originals of all proof of what you charted into a safe hiding place that will not automatically come under the search subpoena. Originals are best documented and housed with your attorney or in someone else's safety deposit box [not husband or grown child}. Originals that prove your innocence have a way of disappearing once in the hands of Med Bd staff.
DO NOT take originals with you to any MB "interview" (which is actually a criminal investigation interrogation).
At that interview, bring a working tape recorder, extra tapes, extra batteries, pens and notebook AND a witness (a lawyer is best).
Tell them you view this interview as very serious and then take your time before answering every question. If they tell you they are pressed for time then repeat the reason why you are considering each question and answer so carefully-- a) you are nervous, b) this is a new experience, c) you know they are police officers and so this is a serious meeting and you want to be sure what you say what is correct.
Do not hesitate to say "I have to refer to my notes" (the ones they instructed you to bring with you). Do hot hesitate to tell them you do not fully understand the question, the purpose of the question or that you fail to see relevance in particular questions.
You have the right to refuse to answer any question, but there will be consequences.
Although they will try to obfuscate on the point, you may have anyone you wish accompany you INTO the "interview". If that person, other than your attorney, is someone who may be called by either side in a trial then it may be best to find another person. You don't want any potentially supportive witness barred from testifying for you because they were privy to the interrogation.
It is always best to have a good attorney with you during these "talks". If that is absolutely impossible, then take along someone who is at least intelligent, alert and has some knowledge of police. Dress conservatively for each interrogation and all related meetings, court dates, etc.
If the person is not an attorney they may tell you that person is not allowed to speak with you during the interrogation (practicing law without a license).
That person is your witness to the body language and other things that happen. The presence of a witness automatically changes the dynamics.
Please let us know you are a target as early into the process as possible. It is like a tiny angle of deflection nearest the apex, as the lines extend outward, the tiny difference in the angle turns out to have a huge effect upon how far apart the lines are EARLY involvement is BEST, later is better than none.
It is not being paranoid to think you have powerful and vengeful enemies. If you are a Licensed Midwife you would have to be in a coma not to know you are in the crosshairs of ACOG. Free enterprise capitalism means killing off your competition, any way you can.
Take care of your clients, yourself and each other. The future of midwifery depends on you.
This information collected and provided by Ronnie Falcao, LM MS
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