Re "Home-birth advocates push to scrap state-required presence of a physician" (Page A1, July 8): California midwives are pushing for fewer restrictions, including no doctor supervision during home births.
As a potential medical student, this is of particular concern to me because it might put the patient in a more compromised situation. Midwives, although licensed, do not have the fundamental medical knowledge obtained by a doctor in medical school/training.
Without a physician present during birth, many complications could arise that a midwife would not be qualified to handle alone. This would leave the mother in a compromised situation because she would then have to be transported to a hospital, which ultimately delays the time until which she can be medically treated. What people don't realize is that these pre-established laws are in place for the protection of both the midwife and the patient, such the law put forth in 1993 that mandates the presence of a doctor during birth.
-- Erica St.Lawrence, Fremont