snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Inboxer Rebellion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 13 July 2007, 09:13 PM
HazyCosmicJive HazyCosmicJive is offline
 
Join Date: 17 December 2000
Location: Mt. Crested Butte, CO
Posts: 968
Default No Felony for Melanie - Midwife charged with felony?

Quote:
>Hey there,
>
>This isn't just some message floating around, this is one of my dearest
>friends and most wonderful people I've ever met who is being prosecuted
>for that most sinister of all crimes... assisting childbirth. Iowa still
>has some backward laws. If you could send a message of support, or even
>donate $5 or so, it would be wonderful for her to receive your support.
>
>Please see the site below for a bit of Melanie's story:
>
>http://nofelonyformelanie.org/
>
>Thank you and much love!
I got this from a friend who is supposedly a friend of the originator of the message. Googling Melanie Moore's name yields the site above and a few midwifery blogs, but no reputable news source about the incident. I'm always suspicious of people taking online donations. WhoIs has the site registered to a private individual in California. Any thoughts?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 13 July 2007, 09:19 PM
Eddylizard's Avatar
Eddylizard Eddylizard is offline
 
Join Date: 15 June 2006
Location: Tonbridge, Kent, UK
Posts: 17,857
Default

Quote:
In April she was charged with practicing medicine without a liscence, a felony
Well this might be the root cause of her problems. If you haven't got a licence to practise midwifery, then you can't go around calling yourself a bloody midwife can you? Not in any civilised country I know of. Otherwise I could just decide to call myself "Mr. Lizard, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon" and do open heart surgery in my living room, despite the fact I can't even carve the Sunday roast with any degree of precision. She either once held a licence and had it revoked, or has since acquired one - it isn't clear. Or she stepped outside of the bounds of what her quakifications permitted her to do. But if she was practising while she did not hold a valid licence, then it is a felony.

Last edited by Eddylizard; 13 July 2007 at 09:32 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 13 July 2007, 09:31 PM
mela681's Avatar
mela681 mela681 is offline
 
Join Date: 16 May 2007
Location: Duncan, OK
Posts: 1,607
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Well this might be the root cause of her problems. If you haven't got a licence to practise midwifery, then you can't go around calling yourself a bloody midwife can you? Not in any civilised country I know of. Otherwise I could just decide to call myself "Mr. Lizard, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon" and do open heart surgery in my living room, despite the fact I can't even carve the Sunday roast with any degree of precision. She either once held a licence and had it revoked, or has since acquired one - it isn't clear. But if she was practising while she did not hold a valid licence, then it is a felony.
It says on her site that she is a licensed midwife. I know that it doesn't make it a fact but I don't see why she would post that if it wasn't true

Dang it, you edited your post after I quoted it.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 13 July 2007, 09:37 PM
Eddylizard's Avatar
Eddylizard Eddylizard is offline
 
Join Date: 15 June 2006
Location: Tonbridge, Kent, UK
Posts: 17,857
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mela681 View Post
It says on her site that she is a licensed midwife. I know that it doesn't make it a fact but I don't see why she would post that if it wasn't true

Dang it, you edited your post after I quoted it.
However I don't see that the case would get this far if she was practising with a licence, or within the bounds of whatever procedures that it permitted her to do. A quick request to see her licence, and a follow up check with the issuing authority should surely have ended this quickly.

Sorry for the edit.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 13 July 2007, 09:39 PM
PallasAthena's Avatar
PallasAthena PallasAthena is offline
 
Join Date: 13 September 2005
Location: Ventura, CA
Posts: 6,621
Default

Even if she is a fully qualified and liscensed midwife, in some states midwifery is flat out illegal. There are still women, though, who prefer to give birth in their homes, so they seek out midwives under the table. I think it's sad that one should have to sneak around in order to give birth in the manner in which you choose, and assuming this woman is a fully liscenced MW, I think it's sad that she is being charged with a felony.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 13 July 2007, 11:22 PM
HazyCosmicJive HazyCosmicJive is offline
 
Join Date: 17 December 2000
Location: Mt. Crested Butte, CO
Posts: 968
Icon102

I was mostly interested in figuring out whether there is an actual woman who was actually charged thus and who actually needs donations to an actual legal fund. With a little more time just now, I've looked a little harder.

Her blog links to the "no felony for Melanie" site and she's selling t-shirts, but there's not the sense of urgency one might expect from an individual facing the penalties described on the site. Furthermore, her initial court date was to be April 24 but there's no mention of the outcome in her blog around that time - just the April 13 announcement of the summons and then a June 28 ad for t-shirts.

Here is an image of her supposed summons. If it's real, do you suppose she could get any mileage about the fact that "medicine" is spelled wrong?

"Your honor, I never claimed to have a license to practice medine! I don't even know what that is!"
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 13 July 2007, 11:29 PM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 74,505
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Well this might be the root cause of her problems. If you haven't got a licence to practise midwifery, then you can't go around calling yourself a bloody midwife can you?
If midwifery is illegal in her state, there may be no way she can be licensed, even if she has all the qualifications required for licensing in another state -- even if she actually is a licensed midwife in another state.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 13 July 2007, 11:42 PM
glass papaya's Avatar
glass papaya glass papaya is offline
 
Join Date: 16 November 2005
Location: Onalaska, WI
Posts: 2,525
Default

I searched the Iowa Courts Online Search, and there is indeed a case pending against a Melanie Elizabeth Moore for practicing medicine without a license which was filed April 10, 2007. Her trial is set for August 20, 2007.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 14 July 2007, 12:24 AM
mela681's Avatar
mela681 mela681 is offline
 
Join Date: 16 May 2007
Location: Duncan, OK
Posts: 1,607
Default

I found this saying that midwifery is not legal in Iowa.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 14 July 2007, 12:46 AM
Spamamander's Avatar
Spamamander Spamamander is offline
 
Join Date: 01 January 2006
Location: Central WA
Posts: 4,383
Default

I honestly had no idea that certified nurse-midwives would not be legal anywhere... I assumed that if one had a nursing license and had the proper training, with a back-up obstetrician, that it would be acceptable anywhere in the U.S. (Assuming you had a license from that state.) I had a CNM deliver Spamlet #1 and it was a very rewarding experience, there shouldn't be any reason that normal, healthy pregnancy and birth cannot be overseen by a qualified CNM.

In this case though if she was in violation of that state's laws, then she was in violation. I definitely have my own opinions on homebirths as well- while I know women have been having babies for thousands of years, I still can't see the logic in taking a step backwards medically speaking. (Waits for the flames...) Certified Nurse-Midwives can be a great compromise, in that they try to avoid invasive procedures as much as possible and allow the birth to progress naturally, but generally in a "birthing room" within a hospital with family and friends. That way if there IS an emergency, a doctor is available, but for the most part a home-like comfortable atmosphere is maintained.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 14 July 2007, 12:59 AM
Eddylizard's Avatar
Eddylizard Eddylizard is offline
 
Join Date: 15 June 2006
Location: Tonbridge, Kent, UK
Posts: 17,857
Default

I apologise somewhat, not realising the practice of midwifery was illegal in Iowa. Like Spamamander I thought it was universal (at least in the first world) for midwives to supervise births that were uncomplicated, but with a hotline to a doctor/surgeon in the event that things start going wrong. Thereby one of my possible scenarios that she had overstepped her bounds.

So who is permitted to deliver babies in Iowa? Obstetricians only?

Having said that, regardless of whether g-you regard the law in Iowa as wrong, she knew she was breaking the law, and did so anyway. Who knows, maybe it was some sort of protest move, but she can't really complain when she gets charged with it.

As an analogy I might come to the US for a while, get a pistol, and become a fine, competent and safe pistol target shooter. Upon my return to the UK, there is absolutely no way I can get a licence for or legally own/use a pistol. I don't want to go into whether our law on that is right or wrong, but if I acquired a pistol in the UK, even though competent, I would be breaking the law, and would deserve whatever they gave me.

Now if I felt aggrieved about it, I could campaign to try to change the law, but breaking it is not the best way.

Last edited by Eddylizard; 14 July 2007 at 01:08 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 14 July 2007, 01:38 AM
One-Fang's Avatar
One-Fang One-Fang is offline
 
 
Join Date: 02 November 2005
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,610
Default

This is what bugs me about (yes I know it's fictional) shows like Boston Legal. You see cases where people are 'protesting' the law they were convicted under.
The appropriate way to get a law changed is to lobby for change. Not to break it and try to claim you should get off anyway because it's a stupid law.

Laws are laws. Some are stupid and ought to be changed. Breaking them isn't the way to achieve that.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 14 July 2007, 01:46 AM
zman977's Avatar
zman977 zman977 is offline
 
Join Date: 26 September 2003
Location: La Salle, IL
Posts: 3,010
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HazyCosmicJive View Post
I got this from a friend who is supposedly a friend of the originator of the message. Googling Melanie Moore's name yields the site above and a few midwifery blogs, but no reputable news source about the incident. I'm always suspicious of people taking online donations. WhoIs has the site registered to a private individual in California. Any thoughts?

I know of this case personally. The origianl note can be found on www.nobodies.libsyn.com Which belongs to my friends Jason and Kelli from the quad Cities. The do a podcast called the nobodies. My wife and I met them through our podcast. Kelli's friend Melenie is the melenie mentioned in the email. I don't know if Kelli knows taht it is illigal to practice midwifery in Iowa. That is news to me and I'm sure will be to Kelli.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 14 July 2007, 06:37 AM
One-Fang's Avatar
One-Fang One-Fang is offline
 
 
Join Date: 02 November 2005
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,610
Default

"Melanie Moore has been an Iowa homebirth midwife for 14 years..."

And it's illegal? About time she was caught up with.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 14 July 2007, 06:06 PM
juniper's Avatar
juniper juniper is offline
 
Join Date: 17 February 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 605
Default

I did a google search of iowa midwife and found a lot of conflicting information. The most recent page states that as of April, midwifery was still illegal in Iowa.

However, there seem to be places like the Gentle Birth Clinic that allow or would allow midwives to practice. In fact, the contact listed at the bottom of the page is a CNM.

I agree, however, that if Melanie was practicing without liscensing/approval from the state of Iowa, then she should pay the price.

JMC
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 14 July 2007, 06:24 PM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 74,505
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by One-Fang View Post
This is what bugs me about (yes I know it's fictional) shows like Boston Legal. You see cases where people are 'protesting' the law they were convicted under.
The appropriate way to get a law changed is to lobby for change. Not to break it and try to claim you should get off anyway because it's a stupid law.

Laws are laws. Some are stupid and ought to be changed. Breaking them isn't the way to achieve that.
Actually, in the US legal system, challenging the constitutionality of a law is perfectly valid.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 14 July 2007, 08:44 PM
Starla's Avatar
Starla Starla is offline
 
Join Date: 20 January 2004
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 9,625
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spamamander View Post
I honestly had no idea that certified nurse-midwives would not be legal anywhere... I assumed that if one had a nursing license and had the proper training, with a back-up obstetrician, that it would be acceptable anywhere in the U.S. (Assuming you had a license from that state.) I had a CNM deliver Spamlet #1 and it was a very rewarding experience, there shouldn't be any reason that normal, healthy pregnancy and birth cannot be overseen by a qualified CNM.
A Certified Nurse Midwife is different from a licensed or certified midwife. All the acronyms are confusing.
Quote:
Certified nurse-midwives are trained in both nursing and midwifery and are certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). To be certified, a CNM must be formally educated in midwifery through an accredited program affiliated with an institution of higher learning, demonstrate clinical competence, and pass a rigorous national certifying exam. CNMs are licensed to practice in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
(bolding mine)


A "licensed midwife" falls under what's called direct-entry midwifery. Basically that can mean anything from following another midwife around for a while and learning the ropes, to attending some classes, but it does not mean the person has an actual medical degree. The laws for direct entry midwifery differ by state, and can be found here.

It's likely Melanie was "licensed" through a direct-entry midwife association, but that does not make her legally licensed to practice in her state.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 15 July 2007, 04:58 AM
Beastly Despot
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Midwifery is illegal here in Indiana, although there is some pending legislation to legalize it.

We had two homebirths (our first was a hospital birth attended by a certified nurse midwife). Our midwife told us horror stories of poorly trained midwives having to take laboring women to the hospital due to problems and leaving them alone at the ER so the midwives wouldn't be arrested. Sounds perfectly horrific.

We also had a doula (labor support person) at all our births, an investment which I highly recommend.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 15 July 2007, 05:25 AM
We'veBeenHad
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Well this might be the root cause of her problems. If you haven't got a licence to practise midwifery, then you can't go around calling yourself a bloody midwife can you? Not in any civilised country I know of. Otherwise I could just decide to call myself "Mr. Lizard, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon" and do open heart surgery in my living room, despite the fact I can't even carve the Sunday roast with any degree of precision. She either once held a licence and had it revoked, or has since acquired one - it isn't clear. Or she stepped outside of the bounds of what her quakifications permitted her to do. But if she was practising while she did not hold a valid licence, then it is a felony.
Ok, I get this, but what I'm wondering is where you get the certainty that pregnancy and birth are medical conditions that necessarily require the assistance of licensed medical personnel. Actually, where this country got the idea that pregnancy is necessarily a condition that requires licensed personnel to deal with under ordinary circumstances? And that to not deal with it medically or under a license is a chargeable offense?

See, women have given birth for a long long time. From the dawn of our evolution, before, and since. Other countries that don't have a "medical" view of pregnancy and birth have lower rates of maternal and infant death than we do. Naturally some people DO require medical assistance. A responsible midwife would tell you if this is your case. However, it is a distinct possibility that our whole view of medicalized birth is what needs to change here.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 15 July 2007, 05:41 AM
Beastly Despot
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spamamander View Post
Certified Nurse-Midwives can be a great compromise, in that they try to avoid invasive procedures as much as possible and allow the birth to progress naturally, but generally in a "birthing room" within a hospital with family and friends. That way if there IS an emergency, a doctor is available, but for the most part a home-like comfortable atmosphere is maintained.
A quick comment here: this is what we had intended with our first birth and, indeed, the hospital sold it to us with this image.

The reality, however, is that you are still giving birth in a system that is very used to doing things a certain way. When my wife asked to not wear the heartbeat monitor straps constantly or to move around or take a shower, the nurses really did make an effort to accomodate her, but it was with a great deal of trepidation and side conversations with the midwife and nursing supervisors. Every step of the way was stressful and very un-home-like.

It's a great idea, but when the hospital staff has done thousands of births with doctors, it is difficult for them to change direction for the few who want the non-invasive atmosphere. It's a great idea, but far from reality in our experience. And I think our local hospital is trying harder than many surrounding hospitals to be more cozy.

It's nothing at all like a real homebirth.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 08:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.