If you or someone whom you love has suffered a loss or injury during birth in Oregon, it is reasonable to examine the situation closely. Birth is not without risks: Accidents happen. On the other hand, any number of people who were supposed to help and support you may have been negligent in their duties. You have the right to competent medical assistance, and you should be compensated to the extent of the law for any preventable injuries. The first step in this process is determining who among your caregivers might be liable for medical malpractice.
There are several types of professionals who could have been involved in your incident, including:
- Doctors, such as obstetricians or gynecologists
- Nurses acting as technicians or assistants
- Midwives, both traditional and contemporary
Any of these individuals may be a valid defendant in a medical malpractice charge you intend to pursue. However, your situation may be complicated by several factors, especially when midwives are involved.
The Oregon Health Authority lists two major categories of midwives you may hire in the state: licensed and unlicensed. Traditional midwives do not need a license to legal provide birth advice and care for you in the state, but they often carry insurance to protect them against claims of medical malpractice. This insurance makes it more likely that you will receive appropriate recompense should any unfortunate event occur due to midwife’s negligence: Ensuring that your midwife is insured might set a higher standard for service and ethics.
The Oregon Health Authority resource page also has information about licensing requirements and the specific expertise required of a midwife. Please review any information online— including this page— as educational material. It is not legal advice.