Understanding that allegations and accusations do not equal guilt, it is nigh on impossible to read through this and not ask, “Seriously?”
And while these cases are not obstetric-related, I have first-hand knowledge of at least two such cases the Medical Board of California is examining. It is up to the Medical Board whether they will bring even more charges of negligence against Dr. Biter.
I stand by the births I have done with Dr. Biter, that they were wonderful and beautiful and even amazing. But, when he lost privileges, even as we marched for him in front of the hospital that booted him, stories began emerging about his lackadaisical care, his stretching of the boundaries of safety in homebirths and eventually, I sat and listened as new moms relayed stories that made my toes curl, stories that are theirs to tell when they are ready. Stories that have already been told to the Medical Board.
So, I guess I’m eating huge troughs of crow right now. Embarrassed that I supported someone who seemed so genuine, who really seemed to care about women’s rights in birth. And while he might believe he does, when one sets up another human being for the possibility to die from neglect, I have a really hard time understanding where that person… Dr. Biter… is coming from.
I hope the truth wins here. And I pray no woman or baby has to die to get there.
If the link in the piece isn't working, try this direct link to the Physician-Surgeon Look-up.
One of the moms who has a case being considered by the Medical Board suggested I explain a little more about the process, from complaint to decision. I should have explained more in the original piece, assuming folks would understand the gravity of the charges. I am sure the reason I am sobered by the Medical Board is that I am within its grasp as well. Forgive me for not expounding earlier.
- Patient makes a complaint to the Medical Board, almost always after having gone through the court system. (These cases have.)
- The patient meets with a representative from the Medical Board.
- The Board requests the Medical Records.
- The Board then meets with the doctor.
- Then the whole package goes to an independent investigating doctor who makes the recommendations to the Attorney General.
- The Attorney General makes the final decision about making the Accusation or not.