The Journal of Clinical Ethics


Thaddeus Mason Pope and Deborah Fisch, “Legal Briefing: Home Birth and Midwifery,”

The Journal of Clinical Ethics 24, no. 3 (Fall 2013): 293-308.



This issue’s “Legal Briefing” column covers recent legal developments involving home birth and midwifery in the United States. Specifically, we focus on new legislative, regulatory, and judicial acts that impact women’s access to direct entry (non-nurse) midwives. We categorize these legal developments into the following 12 categories.

1.   Background and History

2.   Certified Nurse-Midwives

3.   Direct Entry Midwives

4.   Prohibition of Direct Entry Midwives

5.   Enforcement of Prohibition

6.   Challenges to Prohibition

7.   Forbearance without License

8.   Voluntary Licensure

9.   Unclear and Uncertain Status

10.  Growth of DEM Licensure

11.  Licensure Restrictions

12.  Medicaid Coverage


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