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The Midwifery Model of Care

Statement of Philosophy
As midwives, we believe the practice of midwifery to be distinct from the practice of medicine. Midwifery is a discipline pertaining to a normal cycle of life, the childbearing years.

Midwifery is based on a model of care which believes that:

  • Pregnancy and birth are a fundamentally healthy process
  • Each woman is unique and her care should be tailored to meet her individual needs
  • Attending to the emotional and spiritual components of childbearing is as important as adequate medical care
  • Midwives should be trained by other midwives, whether that training takes place in schools or with apprenticeships
  • Midwives should maintain a professional attitude and practice which promotes collegial relationships between physicians, midwives and apprentices
  • The relationship between midwife and client is collaborative

Midwifery Code of Ethics for Alaska Midwives
(Adopted by the Board of Certified Direct-Entry Midwives on April 26, 1994)

  1. The principle objective of the midwifery profession is to render service to humanity with full respect for the dignity of the human race. Midwives should merit the confidence of patients entrusted to their care, rendering to each a full measure of services and devotion.
  2. Midwives should strive continually to improve medical knowledge and skill, and should make available to their clients and colleagues the benefits of their professional attainments.
  3. A midwife should practice a method of maternal care utilizing accreditable research as a criteria for care, and promote such research.
  4. The midwifery profession should safeguard the public and itself against midwives deficient in moral character or professional competence. Midwives should observe all laws, uphold the dignity and honor of the profession and accept its self-imposed desciplines. They should expose, without hesitation, illegal or unethical conduct of fellow members of the profession.
  5. A midwife may choose whom whe will serve. In a life-threatening emergency, however, she should render service to the best of her ability. Having undertaken the care of the client, she may not neglect her; and, unless she has been discharged, she may discontinue services only after giving adequate notice.
  6. A midwife should not dispense her services under terms or conditions which tend to interfere with or impair her midwifery judgment and skill or tend to cause a deterioration of the quality of midwifery care.
  7. A midwife should seek consultation and/or referral upon request; in doubtful or diffucult cases; or whenever it appears that the quality of health care would be enhanced thereby.
  8. A midwife may not reveal the confidences entrusted to her in the course of midwifery attendance, or deficiencies she may observe in the character of patients, unless she is required to do so by law or unless it becomes necessary in order to protect the welfare of the individual or of the community.
  9. The honored ideals of the midwifery profession imply that the responsibilities of the midwife extend not only to the individual, but also to society where these responsibilities deserve her interests and participation in activities which have the purpose of improving both the health and the well-being of the individual and the community.

Client Rights

  1. The right to be treated with respect and dignity and without prejudice.
  2. The right to informed consent concerning her care, having access to relevant information upon which to base decisions.
  3. The right to freedom from coercion in decision-making.
  4. The right to full discolsure of the costs of her care.
  5. The right to know who will participate in her care and to obtain additional consultation of her choice.
  6. The right not to be abandoned, neglected, or discharged from care without opportunity to find other care.
  7. The right to absolute privacy except where this right is preempted by law.

Midwife Rights

  1. The right to refuse care to clients with whom no midwife/client relationship has been established.
  2. The right to discharge clients from her care, provided adequate referral to other care is extended.
  3. The right to receive honest, relevant information from clients upon which to base care.

Updated 03/12/04