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If a baby dies during a home birth, should the mother be held responsible?

If a baby has a prolapsed cord and suffocates in the birth canal, or something else goes wrong during an unassisted home birth, should the mother be held responsible for that death? If the parent didn't take classes beforehand? What if it's not unassisted?


Asked by Anonymous at 1:51 PM on Jul. 4, 2009 in Pregnancy

This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • Interesting question! I would say that in a normal, no complication pregnancy, the mother should not face charges if something goes wrong. The guilt alone would be punishment enough. But for someone like me, who is high risk and both of my other kids had to go to NICU right after birth, and knowing that with this baby it's a good likelihood that he will need intensive care as well, it would be irresponsible to have a home birth. Then there should be some accountability, IMO.

    Answer by goldenfox at 3:03 PM on Jul. 4, 2009

  • wow no I don't think so. I took classes for my first and they were useless. My next two were both c sections like my first ended up after a very tough tough labor. I think only that parents or parent, relative of pregnant woman should be legally accountable if drugs and atmosphere in home led to 97 percent chance of not surviving and that baby does in fact die.

    I'm so sorry if some thing like happened to you or someone you know.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:59 PM on Jul. 4, 2009

  • Um no. What the hell do you think women did back in the day?

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:01 PM on Jul. 4, 2009

  • Well, no I dont think so. I think that its a choice just like everything else. Everyday, we are faced with choices..big and small and there are benefits and consequences to what we choose for ourselves and our children. We live and we learn, sometimes the hard way. I think the mother is likely going to experience enough guilt and hold herself responsible anyway, so thats probably all the guilt she needs. I dont feel there should be criminal charges associated. Sometimes, things just happen. We dont always know if it could have been prevented. Not everything that happens in life has someone to accuse for it. Its just life. Besides, its her choice just like it was her choice to continue the pregnancy. She could have aborted this child and it ended in the same result, but that would have "been her choice". She chooses to homebirth, something goes wrong, and shes now to blame for the death? Doesnt really make sense. Not to me.

    Answer by momofsaee at 2:02 PM on Jul. 4, 2009

  • Women still give birth all over the world unassisted. I don't think the woman should be held responsible.

    Answer by ajguinn at 2:03 PM on Jul. 4, 2009

  • I'm just curious about the issue, I'm not saying she should. Although it seems that it's the same thing as refusing a medication that can save a child's life. It's definitely not my place to make that decision though.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:10 PM on Jul. 4, 2009

  • That would be the same as saying the DR's should be held responsible every time a child dies during labor @ the hospital. Some babies just weren't ment to come into this world. It would be so hard to determine if it was the parent's fault or just natual selection.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:52 PM on Jul. 4, 2009

  • Not to offend anyone so please don't take it like that but i would like to ask why people find it so horrible if someone even a baby dies. Yes its sad for the family but death is a part of life and people seem to forget that. I plan a home birth and i understand that its a possibility for something like that to happen but that is the way life is. I truly believe everything happens the way its supposed to and if something happens to my baby that's the way it is supposed to happen.
    Its been said b4 what do you think women did b4 there were hospitals. Too many people have been told that birth is dangerous and something that only a medical professional should have a hand in but we as women would not get pregnant if our bodies couldn't handle having a baby by our selves. You simply have to look at nature for the instructions on what to do.
    and now no woman should face a "punishment" if that happens.

    Answer by Alie1313 at 3:12 PM on Jul. 4, 2009

  • Also in this situation a woman will hold herself accountable and persecute herself more than anyone else could. A woman's grief for a lost child is far worse a punishment than any that a court could impose.

    Answer by Alie1313 at 3:14 PM on Jul. 4, 2009

  • What do ya'll think women did for thousands of years before there were hospitals and doctors? There are still women all over the world who don't have access to good medical care and give birth at home. Personally, I wouldn't choose a home birth, but if someone else wants to, good for them!! What if a woman didn't PLAN to have a home birth, but they went into labor early, and couldn't get to the hospital in time, and something happened to the baby? Should they be held responsible?

    What a ridiculous question!!

    Answer by Bethsunshine at 3:26 PM on Jul. 4, 2009