200 parents provide signed statements refuting one of the charges brought against dr. Ágnes Geréb in the new trial she is facing today. The Justice for Ágnes Geréb Movement believes the start of this new trial is another example of double standards being applied against midwives by comparison with doctors when evaluating birth actions in adverse birth incidents.
New criminal cases are being brought against dr. Ágnes Geréb connected with three adverse birth incidents. In addition, dr. Geréb is charged with "quackery" as she is accused of performing birth actions at home birth deliveries that would normally fall under the responsibility of a doctor and that sometimes she performed these for money while she was suspended from working as a doctor. This charge of "quackery" has been rejected in signed statements by all 200 mothers involved.
In her statement in court today, dr. Geréb said "I'm an obstetrician, a midwife and a psychologist. As an independent midwife assisting homebirths I have always acted within the professional competency standards set for midwives.Since 1980, midwives working in a member state of the European Union are eligible and allowed full responsibility to provide care for low-risk pregnancies and natural births. In the current criminal proceedings I intend to prove that I did not commit any crime when assisting in out-of-hospital births and also that I acted as I was expected to do within the professional competency standards set for midwives."
Gábor Papp the defence lawyer emphasised that "there aren't any criminal actions in the cases cited in these charges." He also said that "the defence trusts the court to treat this new trial independently of the previous cases."
The Justice for Ágnes Geréb Movement expresses its concern that Hungary, unlike the international trend, continue to investigate adverse out-of-hospital birth incidents through criminal procedures. This negative discriminatory action against midwives cannot come to an end unless midwifery becomes a fully independent medical profession, and birth action enquiries are made using the services of independent professional midwifery investigation committees instead of criminal procedures.
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