About the website and the webwife

April 28, 2012

The goal and purpose of Ca LM is to:

  • provide both an archive of the political, legal and legislative history of non-nurse, non-medical midwifery in California
  • provide information & resourced relevant to the practice of direct-entry midwifery under the regulatory authority of the Medical Board of California
  • provide critical &/or timely information and a real-time mechanism for comments and feedback from Ca LMs
  • protect our professional communication process from being corrupted by foes of midwifery, whether that threat comes from organized medicine or others looking to cause controversy and subvert the use of our time and resources to endless (and useless!) arguments

Webwife Faith Gibson, LM, CPM

Personal & professional background in the field of maternity care field:

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, former L&D and ER nurse, midwife licensed in the state of California (LM), and a nationally-certified professional midwife (CPM) through the North American Registery of Midwives (NARM).

In 1994 I founded the American College of Community Midwives (www.collegeofmidwives.org) and its state chapter, the California College of Midwives (california-midwives.com).

I am also the webwife for ‘HealthCare2.0′ (www.healthcare2point0.com), web sites faithgibson.orgiBirth.org, and other maternity care-related on-line sources.

I have been politically active in the legal, legislative and political aspects of traditional (non-medical) midwifery in California for the last three decades.  In 1998 I organized and administered a consortium for malpractice insurance for community midwives attending PHB in Cal, NM and Florida, which provided med-mal coverage for 55 midwives until 2000. During that period of time, those few midwives raised $113,000 in liability insurance premiums.

In 2005 I researched all standards for midwifery practice published in English and compiled the 51-page standard of care for the California College of Midwives for licensed midwives providing OOH-PHB services.

In a 2003 an amendment to the LMPA (SB 1950 ~ Figueroa) required the MBC to pass a regulation containing a midwifery standard of care. I produced a synopsis of the California College of Midwives’ Standard into a 14-page version which was accepted by the MBC’s Midwifery Committee (chaired by Dr Fantozzi) as fulfilling the regulatory requirements established by SB 1950. In September 2005 this version was approved by a majority of Board members. After its subsequent approval by the OAL the Standard of Care for California Licensed Midwives (SCCLM) was formally adopted by the California Medical Board in March of 2006.

In 2007 I was appointed to the Medical Board’s Midwifery Advisory Council and elected Chair of the Council, a position I held for 3 years. In 2010 I was reappointed to the Mfry Council and continue to be a seated member.

In 2011 my essay titled “A Time-traveler’s Perspective of Normal Childbirth” was published in the peer-review Journal “BIRTH” (September 2011).BIRTH-PracPerspective_MyArticle_Sept11_2011

My areas of expertise continue to be the legal standards and political aspects of midwifery practice, and the normal biology and physiology of spontaneous childbirth in healthy women with normal pregnancies.

I am also interested and active in the non-partisan, non-electorial politics of participatory democracy and maintain two politically-relevant websites. The fist is ‘OneTrueThing.us’, which is dedicated to balancing political life in American with religious/spiritual/ethical principles. The second is ‘GardenPartyPatriotism.us’, which builds on two  books by Nick Hanuer and Eric Liu — True Patriots and Gardens of Democracy.

About my appointment to the MBC’s Midwifery Advisory Council:

*NOTE: I take full and complete responsibility for all information, materials or opinions expressed here and as posted on any of the other websites that I maintain on the topic of midwifery and maternity care — CollegeofMidwives.org, iBirth.org, normal birth.org, California-Midwives.com.

Information so posted reflects ONLY my personal and professional opinions, and NOT those of the California Medical Board, or official positions of the Midwifery Advisory Council. Information posted by me in any public venue is always supportive of the Open Meetings Act (more commonly called the Keene-Baggly Act).

The Open Meetings  Act is to make sure that “actions of state agencies be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly”. Personally, I whole-heartedly support the intent of this law which states:

“The People of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is good for them not to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instrument they have created.”

As someone who has volunteered to be a ‘public servant’ on the Midwifery Advisory Council, I hereby affirm my commitment to honor the Open Meetings Act by conducting myself in a way that, to the best of my knowledge, is fully in accord with the both the spirit and the letter of this law.

In alignment with the ethical principle known as “The Goldern Rule”, I do not ceding my own rights as a member of the public, nor would I cede by proxy the rights of other citizens of California to have appointees, employees or other bona fide agents of state agencies  ’decide what is good for the people to know, or decide what is NOT good for them to know’.

It is equally important that efforts to insure full and fair sharing of relevant information with the public does not inadvertently restrict all the public sharing of such information to avoid the possibly that someone might possibly misinterpret publicly-posted information as a violation of the Open Meeting Act.  Public access and crowd-sourcing of all such material is the ultimate insurance against illegitimate back-room dealing by official government bodies and/or their agents.

In regard to my 2007 appointment to the MBC’s Midwifery Advisory Council, I confirm my continuing commitment to transparency so that all exchanges of information germane to the information-sharing process and/or decision-making process of the Midwifery Advisory Council that I am privy to be conducted in accord with the Open Meetings Act.

Furthermore I commit to making background materials, as well as secondary and supporting information, fully and freely  available to the public and all healthcare professionals without discrimination. This also includes public servants on various state-agency boards or fact-finding committees and task-forces for whom access to relevant information is a necessary prerequisite to the decision-making process and a core aspect of ‘due diligence’ for anyone responsible for carrying out the People’s business in accord with the public interest.

Information that falls in that purview includes the history and general practice of midwifery as a non-medcial maternity care discipline, the social and political tensions historically present between allopathic medicine and midwifery in the United States over the last 150 years, as well as the legal, legislative and political issues germane to the contemporary regulation of licensed midwives in California per se.

This acknowledges that public health policies at the state and national level impact on how the profession of licensed midwifery interfaces with mainstream healthcare. It also explores how its practitioners can best contribute to national goals of universal access to safe, affordable, and effective maternity care — in particular, the provision of cost-effective care for essentially healthy women with normal pregnancies living in the state of California.