published: 10.09.2012, 12:20 | updated: 10.09.2012 12:33:34
Brno - Czech midwife Ivana Koenigsmarkova was definitively given a two-year suspended sentence with a five-year probation for a fatal mistake during a childbirth as the Supreme Court has rejected her appellate review, court spokesman Petr Knoetig told CTK today.
The newborn baby suffered a serious bodily harm and died eventually.
Koenigsmarkova, president of the Midwives´ Union, was also banned from working as a midwife for five years and she has to cover the health insurer's costs of the baby´s treatment amounting to some 2.7 million crowns, the Prague courts ruled last year.
Koenigsmarkova was found guilty of causing a deadly injury negligently.
"The Supreme Court did not take my objections into consideration, I will definitely turn to the Constitutional Court," Koenigsmarkova, who denied the charges, told CTK.
According to the charges, Koenigsmarkova assisted in a complicated home birth in Prague in July 2009 though she did not hold the necessary authorisation for it.
She was not sufficiently informed about the mother´s previous deliveries that were accompanied by complications, she neglected the problems before and during the delivery and she did not send the woman to a maternity hospital, the courts concluded.
Moreover, the midwife did not have the necessary equipment and conditions for performing a home birth independently, they ruled.
The newborn baby boy suffered an irreversible brain damage due to the lack of oxygen during the delivery. He was transported to a maternity hospital in a critical condition and survived only with the aid of a medical apparatus. He died later aged 20 months.
An expert opinion was the key piece of evidence in the trial of Koenigsmarkova. It said she did not recognise that a doctor´s assistance was necessary during the delivery.
Koenigsmarkova appealed the verdict saying she had not made any professional mistake.
Her defence counsel argued previously that she had always accepted only women without health troubles and that the woman had not told her about her previous complications.
The Human Rights League stood up for Koenigsmarkova in the past, saying her prosecution reflected the Health Ministry´s hostile attitude to alternative childbirth methods.
The lower-level court also admitted that the Czech Gynecological and Obstetrical Association, the Health Ministry and hospitals were not much willing to cooperate with independent midwives and they were not able to reach a compromise in the case of home births.
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