The homebirth controversy: Informed consent and a child’s right

Informa Insights

According to Homebirth Australia, the latest Australian data shows homebirth rates have increased by 56% in one year; there were 863 homebirths in 2009 and 1345 in 2010. Following this, there have been inquests around the country looking at homebirth deaths in recent years. We had the opportunity to hear from Ann Catchlove* on informed consent, a child’s right and the rate of deaths and injuries as a result of homebirth prior to her presentation at the upcoming Obstetric Malpractice Conference in June.

What are the major changes that you’ve observed during your time working in the homebirth area?
Ann: I have been involved as a consumer representative in maternity services since 2009. The big change that has taken place in that period in relation to homebirth has been the introduction of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme with its requirements for registered health professionals to hold professional indemnity…

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