PA Law +

Midwifery

Traditional, community midwives are trained via apprenticeship under an experienced midwife They may or may not complete an academic program of study. They may choose to become Certified Professional Midwives by completing one of several paths available from the North American Registry of Midwives. Traditional midwives are not nurses or nurse-midwives, unless they have sought those credentials separately. Traditional midwives are not currently regulated by the state of PA. There is no licensure available.

PA 1929 Midwifery Statute

MIDWIFE REGULATION LAW Act of Apr. 4, 1929, P.L. 160, No. 155 Cl. 63 AN ACT To provide for the  better protection of the lives, bodies and health of new born children and parturient women, by  providing for the licensing and the revocation of licenses of midwives; regulating the practice of  midwifery; directing the State Board of Medical Education and Licensure to make such rules and  regulations therefor as it deems advisable; requiring the Secretary of Health of the Commonwealth to  supervise, control, and instruct midwives in the performance of their duties, and to enforce the  provisions of this act; providing penalties; and repealing inconsistent acts. Section 1. Be it enacted, &c.,  That upon and after the passage of this act, it shall be unlawful for any person or persons, except a duly  licensed physician or osteopath, to practice midwifery in this Commonwealth, before receiving a  certificate from the State Board of Medical Education and Licensure of the Commonwealth of  Pennsylvania authorizing such person or persons so to do, and having said certificate registered in the  office of the State Board of Medical Education and Licensure at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Section 2. The  State Board of Medical Education and Licensure shall formulate and issue such rules and regulations,  from time to time, as may be necessary for the examination, licensing, and proper conduct of the  practice of midwifery by midwives. The board, upon recommendation of the Secretary of Health, shall  issue certificates to midwives having fulfilled the requirements laid down by the board, which  certificates, and any certificates heretofore issued to any midwife under the provisions of any law of this  Commonwealth, shall be revocable by the State Board of Medical Education and Licensure, on proof of  violation of any of its rules and regulations, or the rules and regulations of the State Department of  Health, or of any of the provisions of this act. The said board may refuse to grant a certificate to any  person, and may revoke the license of any person, addicted to the use of alcohol or narcotic drugs, or  who may have been guilty of a crime involving moral turpitude. Section 3. Each and every applicant for a  certificate to practice midwifery shall pay to the said Board of Medical Education and Licensure the sum  of ten dollars ($10.00) at the time of making such application. All fees that may be received by said  board, from examination or any other source, shall be paid over to the Treasurer of this Commonwealth  by the treasurer of the Board of Medical Education and Licensure, as may be provided by law for the  payment over of fees collected by professional licensing boards. Section 4. The Secretary of Health of  the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania shall appoint not more than five physicians, who shall serve as  inspectors of midwives and who shall maintain close supervision over, and control and instruct such  midwives, in accordance with the directions and suggestions of the Secretary of Health. The provisions  of this act shall be enforced by the Secretary of Health. Section 5. Any person practicing midwifery as a  profession, or advertising herself as a midwife, without first obtaining the certificate aforesaid, or  lawfully holding a license under the laws of the Commonwealth, shall, upon conviction thereof in a  summary proceeding before a justice of the peace, alderman or magistrate of the county wherein such  violation or offense is committed, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than ten dollars ($10.00) and  costs, nor more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) and costs, such fine to be paid to the county in  which the violation or offense is committed. In default of payment of such fine and costs, the offender  shall be sentenced to be confined in the proper county jail for a period of not exceeding sixty days.

 

PA Regulation of Traditional Midwives

Sunday, May 25, 2008 

Midwifery Legal News - Pennsylvania 

The big news this week is that a Pennsylvania appeals court has overturned the State Board of  Medicine's decision against Diane Goslin, who was charged with practicing medicine without a license  and practicing midwifery without a license. In the decision, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania  made the crucial distinction between Midwifery and Nurse-midwifery: 

Thus, section 1 of the 1929 Law regulates, by the issuance of certificates, persons who are not registered  nurses with nurse-midwife licenses, but who make a practice of attending women in childbirth  gratuitously or for hire.

Given the different purposes of the two statutes, we conclude that the nurse-midwife charges against  Goslin under the 1985 Act did not give Goslin adequate notice to defend against the midwife offenses  described in the 1929 Law.

We recognize that statutes in pari materia shall be construed together, if possible, as one statute.  Section 1932(b) of the Statutory Construction Act of 1972, 1 Pa. C.S. §1932(b). However, the 1985 Act  and the 1929 Law do not relate to the same class of persons. Although both relate to midwifery, the  1985 Act relates to the licensing of registered nurses as nurse-midwives and the 1929 Law relates to  the granting of certificates to other persons who attend women in childbirth. 

12 Moreover, we note that, although the Board concluded that Goslin violated section 1 of the 1929 Law  by holding herself out to the public as a midwife, section 1 does not make such conduct unlawful. It is  section 5 of the 1929 Law that prohibits a person from “advertising herself as a midwife” without a  certificate or a license. 63 P.S. §175.

Commentary

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has chosen to disregard the 1929 statute that licensed all midwives  in favor of focusing on the Nurse Midwifery licensure statute of 1987. However, the later does not  address CPM/Traditional/Direct Entry Midwives at all. These Midwives are still legal to practice under  the 1929 statute, but they are in a position where they can no longer request and receive  documentation from the Commonwealth. In spite of the Commonwealth’s decision to no longer issue  licensure under the 1929 statute, the ability for Traditional Midwives to legally practice in the  Commonwealth of PA under that law has been upheld by the court system as recently as 2008. Traditional Midwives are legal to practice in Pennsylvania. Traditional Midwives are unregulated in  Pennsylvania.

Delmar is a Traditional Midwife and a NARM candidate to become a Certified Professional Midwife. They are known to the state of Pennsylvania to be a traditional midwife. They are registered to collect newborn blood samples for metabolic testing as required by the state, as well as to perform newborn heart and hearing screenings with state-issued equipment. Delmar is also permitted by the to file for birth certificates.

As a traditional midwife in a state that does not license such providers, Delmar can not order labs or ultrasounds. Clients must see a licensed provider at least once in pregnancy to access these tests. Delmar can help you identify homebirth-supportive providers who can facilitate access to these, if you don't already have one.

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