Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has signed a bill that widens the medical authority to nurse-midwives. Under the new law, midwives will be allowed to order and interpret tests and therapeutics, as well as write prescriptions. It also gets rid of the requirement that a nurse-midwife has to practice with a team that includes a licensed doctor with admitting privileges. Nurses will have to, however, have a clinical relationship with an obstetrician-gynecologist that can give consultations, as well as practice within a health care system.
The state’s Department of Public Health will be responsible for registering the names of nurse-midwives who can issue prescriptions. The public health department will also work with the Board of Registration in Medicine and the Board of Registration in Nursing to authorize the controlled substances for which a nurse-midwife can receive certification.
Boston Midwife Malpractice
Every state has its respective laws regarding nurse-midwives, which is the term given to midwives who have authorization to work in a hospital environment. Unlike lay midwives, nurse-midwives have to be medically trained. Regardless of whether a person is a lay midwife or nurse-midwives, midwives are there to assist a woman during the birth while overseeing the care of both mother and child afterwards.
While working with a midwife can provide a pregnant woman and her child with support and services normally not obtained through an obstetrician/gynecologist, there are certain risks involved. Midwives, like other medical professionals, can be held liable for Boston medical malpractice if failure to act as a reasonable midwife results in serious injury or death to the mother or child.
Law gives Mass. midwives greater medical authority, Boston, February 2, 2012
Massachusetts Nurse Midwives
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