Homebirth Midwife’s Final Appeal Wed April 9, 2008

Posted on Wed 04/09/2008 by


Midwife to be heard in Commonwealth Court
Homebirth Supporters Asked to Attend

On April 9, 2008, Lancaster County midwife, Diane Goslin, will go before the Commonwealth Court to appeal a September 26, 2007 order by the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine to “cease and desist” from practicing midwifery. The hearing will be held in the Supreme Court room of the Capitol in Harrisburg…

…Mrs. Goslin is a Certified Professional Midwife – a certification which is recognized in 23 other states. She has practiced midwifery in Pennsylvania for 25 years and has attended over 5,000 births.

The Board of Medicine found Mrs. Goslin in violation of the Medical Practice Act of 1985 for “practicing medicine without a license.” The Board based it’s finding on the assertion that midwifery constitutes the practice of medicine, not on any finding of negligence or endangerment .

Did Diane Break the Law?

Is there a law against homebirth?

In short, no. There is no Pennsylvania law that precludes the practice of homebirth midwifery or home birth.

Then why has Diane been ordered to cease and desist from the practice of midwifery?

The PA Board of Medicine has fined Diane for practicing midwifery without a license. They argue that she is in violation of the Medical Practice Act (MPA) of 1985. However, the MPA does not say anything about the licensure of homebirth midwives who are not nurses. Rather, it regulates the practice of Certified Nurse Midwives. This is a matter of legal interpretation, and the Board has interpreted the law to apply to anyone who attends a woman in childbirth.
[Read: It’s another money making scheme and another Big Government intrusion in our lives.]

If the MPA became law 22 years ago, why hasn’t this been an issue before?

In fact, this has come up before. In 1989 identical charges were brought against a Mercer County midwife by the Board of Medicine. The court decided that since the MPA did not prohibit homebirth midwifery by non-nurses, the Board could not put an end to her practice under that Act.

Supporters are welcome to come to the Capitol on April 9 at 9:00 AM to demonstrate their support for midwifery and homebirth freedom in Pennsylvania.


See our prior article by Grumpy Old Man State Fines Certified Midwife $11,000