HB 102 -- Midwives
This bill establishes a system of certification for professional
midwives. Certified professional midwives provide aid during
and after pregnancy but are not licensed as a physician or a
nurse. A certified professional midwife may not claim to be a
licensed nurse midwife and such misrepresentation is a class A
Midwifery is not considered to be the practice of medicine. The
Board of Registration for the Healing Arts will no longer
regulate the practice of midwifery. The State Board of Nursing
may regulate and issue separate licenses for nurse midwives and
approve nurse midwife training programs. If a licensed nurse
is also certified as a professional midwife, midwifery
activities may only be regulated by the laws and rules governing
midwifery rather than by the State Board of Nursing.
The Council for Midwifery Certification is established in the
Division of Professional Registration. Its members are: (1) a
physician familiar with midwifery; (2) 3 midwives; and (3) 3
public members. Members are appointed by the Governor and
subject to confirmation by the Senate. Council members are not
personally liable for their official acts on the council except
for gross negligence. The council may issue rules and
regulations, which are subject to review by the legislative
Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.
The council is required to establish curriculum, experience, and
examination requirements for certified professional midwives in
accord with nationally accepted midwifery standards. Continuing
education must be made a condition for certification renewal.
The council has authority to approve midwife training programs
and set standards for student midwives. The council may suspend
or revoke certification for violations of applicable laws and
regulations or endangering the mother or infant. Disciplinary
action may be appealed.
The Division of Professional Registration will issue
certificates to midwives and set and collect fees to cover the
cost of administering the certification system.
All certified professional midwives must present and explain a
disclosure statement to each prospective client. The
disclosure statement must document the certified professional
midwife's certification and describe her training and practice
history. The disclosure statement must also detail a plan and
procedure for transfer to another health care provider in
emergency situations. Women under the care of a certified
professional midwife must sign a statement indicating receipt of
disclosure information. Certified professional midwives must
annually update their disclosure statement and submit a copy to
the Midwifery Council upon certification or re-certification.
Each certified professional midwife is required to comply with
current laws governing birth certificates and procedures for
caring for newborns and to recommend that the client consult
another health care provider if she suspects there are
significant deviations from a normal pregnancy which threaten
the health of the mother or infant.
Nothing in the bill prohibits persons from rendering gratuitous
services or interferes with the practice of religion. Ambulance
personnel who in the course of their duties assist with
emergency deliveries are not considered to have practiced
Regulation of ambulatory surgical centers does not apply to
private residences where a certified professional midwife
practices or to a facility used exclusively for midwife
services. The bill neither requires nor prohibits coverage of
midwife services by health insurance policies and contracts.
The state boards of Registration for the Healing Arts and
Nursing are prohibited from initiating disciplinary action
against licensed physicians and nurses because of arrangements
made for providing emergency services or otherwise cooperating
with a certified professional midwife when all parties are
acting within the scope of their practice.
A health care provider who provides emergency care in good faith
to a client of a certified professional midwife will not be
civilly liable for damages resulting from such care unless they
are caused by negligence or willful or wanton acts or omissions.
Missouri House of Representatives' Home Page
Last Updated August 11, 1997 at 4:06 pm