May 19, 2011
Court orders unregistered midwife to stop practicing
Expectant mothers reminded to check credentials before engaging midwives
Edmonton… A woman offering midwifery services in the Edmonton area has been prohibited from practicing and presenting herself as a qualified practitioner. The Alberta government reminds expectant mothers to make sure anyone offering midwifery services has the authority to practice.
On April 14, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench issued a court order against Gerilinde Lehner. The order specifically prohibits Lehner from managing labour or delivering a baby; performing any service set out in section 8 of the Midwifery Regulation; and from describing herself as a midwife or using any name, title, description or abbreviation so as to express or imply that she is a registered midwife or someone who may perform midwifery services.
Lehner does not hold a license in Alberta as a registered midwife.
In Alberta, managing labour or delivering a baby is a restricted activity under Schedule 7.1 of the Government Organization Act and only those persons authorized by legislation may perform this activity. The only persons in Alberta currently authorized to manage labour or deliver a baby are regulated members of the following professions: physicians, registered midwives, registered nurses, and paramedics in emergency situations.
Managing labour and delivering a baby is designated a restricted activity because it carries with it a risk of harm. As a result, it is an activity that can only be performed by qualified and authorized health practitioners.
Anyone wishing to have a midwife attended birth is encouraged to go to the Alberta Health and Wellness website for a list of currently registered midwives and call the Registrar for Midwives in Alberta to confirm the currency of an individual midwife’s registration. A list of currently registered midwives can be found at www.health.alberta.ca/services/midwifery.html and the Registrar for Midwives can be reached at 780-422-2733.
Howard May, Communications
Alberta Health and Wellness
Cell phone: 403-660-1870