Introduction

SD Docs for Midwives is a forum for physicians to gather information on the predicament of their patients who choose homebirth, particularly the liability and ethical issues created by South Dakota laws which make it impossible for a woman to hire a qualified attendant to assist her in giving birth at home. The information presented here may facilitate discussion between physicians and legislators towards finding a cost-effective means of relieving physicians of the liability and ethical burdens posed by signed collaborative agreements with Certified Nurse Midwives and the absence of any legally sanctioned qualified care provider (such as Certified Professional Midwives) to assist families choosing homebirth.
To be included in this site is discussion of the current situation for families who choose homebirth, midwives who have chosen to assist them, and the ethical and liability dilemmas for physicians. Current laws, legislation which has been attempted in SD, discussion of the replies and testimony from lobbyists and legislators who were unwilling to support this past year’s legislation, review of the scientific evidence involved, highlights of what has been done in other states to effectively address the needs of families who choose homebirth and the physicians caring for those families are to be included on this site to facilitate fully informed discussion among physicians, medical leadership, and legislators to prepare for the 2008/2009 legislative season.