Recently Katie McNiven Gladman, a registered midwife in the Comox Valley (Vancouver Island, BC), applied for hospital privileges at Comox’s St. Joseph’s General Hospital. The hospital rejected her application based on unclear and subjective allegations of “lack of collegiality”. Katie is in good standing with the College of Midwives of British Columbia (CMBC) and given the shortage of midwives serving women in the area, this hospital decision serves to effectively limit choices to pregnant women, forcing them to sign up with physicians instead of midwives for their prenatal care and childbirth.
If you support a woman’s right to choose how and with whom she will give birth, please sign this petition in support of BC midwife Katie McNiven. (In support of this campaign and women’s rights in childbirth, we re-print the full text of the petition below.)
St. Joseph's General Hospital: Approve long-term hospital locum privileges for Katie McNiven Gladman
We, as supporters of informed choice for women and their families, are writing to urge you to reconsider your decision and grant locum privileges to Ms. McNiven Gladman for several reasons:
A registered midwife should be offered equal access to fair process as is any care provider in the hospital. The College of Midwives of British Columbia (CMBC) exists to address any serious concerns about practitioners' safe practice. In the absence of substantiated concerns raised to the College, or repeated documented concerns that are unable to be resolved via appropriate mediation, Registered Midwives should be granted the same consideration as would any other care provider.
New active privileges have not been awarded to a Registered Midwife at St Joseph’s Hospital since 2001, forcing an unsustainable ratio of Registered Midwives to clients in the region. Sufficient privileges for all types of practitioners are critical in providing clients with access to their choice of care provider.
Your mission as a hospital is to provide “Care with Compassion” and there is no care provider who better embodies this mission than Ms. McNiven Gladman. To deny her privileges is to deny women access to her compassionate care. The vagueness of the allegations made against Ms. McNiven Gladman lead us to believe this decision is based more on personal politics than on the goal of providing compassionate care to your patients.
The action taken against Ms. McNiven Gladman brings to light many concerns with regard to midwives' autonomy as primary health care providers, clients' access to caregivers of choice, and fair process. We wish to challenge what we feel is an unfair and non-transparent process, funded by hospital resources and public tax dollars, which serves only to compromise inter-professional collaboration and clear communication which are crucial building blocks to safe and comprehensive choice-based maternity care.
We feel it is the responsibility of St. Joseph’s General Hospital to provide the community with access to safe and informed care by ensuring that sufficient numbers of Registered Midwives are permitted to practice in your facility along with other types of care providers, and we are requesting that you take immediate action in approving privileges for Katie McNiven Gladman.
For more information or to help Katie out with fundraising to cover legal fees to take this to the Board of Appeals, please visit http://www.katiethemidwife.com