The expert opinion of a nurse midwife cannot be used to determine if a hospital nurse properly did her job. That’s the opinion this week from the state Court of Appeals.
The case goes back to the fall of 2000, when Marcia Downs was admitted to Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey for a drug-induced labor. The baby went into fetal distress and died within hours of her caesarian delivery.
Before the birth, there was a period of time when there was no fetal monitor attached to the mother. Downs wanted the court to hear from two nurse midwives. But the Appeals panel says nurse midwifery is not the same profession as labor and delivery nursing.
And so the experts were not allowed.
One judge on the panel wrote separately, saying it is possible one of the nurse midwives may have qualified to give testimony. That’s because, in addition to midwifery, she also practices and teaches nursing. But the judge says it would have to be clear that most of her professional time is spent doing those activities.