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Woman Charged In Unborn Child's Death, Spark Midwife Debate

7:54 PM, Apr 8, 2013   |    comments
  • Tina L. Bailey, Asheville Citizen Times
    
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Asheville, NC-- A judge told a woman charged with killing an unborn child through a mishandled delivery that she faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Tina Louise Bailey, 44, of Craig Circle Drive, made her first appearance in Buncombe County District Court on Monday. She appeared via video link from the jail.

She asked for a court-appointed attorney. Her next court hearing is set for April 18.

Police say she provided medical services to a woman in labor in July, according to an arrest warrant obtained by the Asheville Citizen Times.

Those included catheterization and internal obstetrical examinations, police said. Bailey also gave medical advice without the training to do so, investigators said.

Police described her in court papers as a midwife though she is not listed as a licensed nurse with the state nursing board.

The state of North Carolina regulates the practice of midwifery and practitioners must be a certified nurse midwife to legally attend deliveries in the state.

A certified nurse midwife is a registered nurse who graduates from an accredited nurse midwifery education program and passes a national certification exam. Certified nurse midwives, more than 10,000 of them nationally, have been practicing in the U.S. since the 1920s.

The warrant states Bailey told the mother she was able to provide all necessary care during labor as a midwife. The warrant was first made public Wednesday afternoon. The baby's mother could not be reached.

Police said Bailey's actions resulted in the death of the unborn child by "acute chorioamnionitis and funistis and meconium aspiration."

Meconium aspiration syndrome occurs when a newborn breathes in a mixture of amniotic and other fluid during delivery. It is a leading cause of severe illness and death in newborns and occurs in 5-10 percent of births, according to Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

The condition typically occurs when the fetus is stressed and the infant is past its due date, according to the center.

Police also charged Bailey with obtaining property by false pretense for telling the mother she could provide adequate care.

Click on Asheville Citizen Times for more on this story.

Written by: Romando Dixson and Clarke Morrison, Asheville Citizen-Times 

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