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Public warned about 4 women suspected of practising unlawful midwifery in B.C.

The B.C. College of Nurses and Midwives has issued public advisories about four people who 'may be offering midwifery services and performing restricted activities … without being permitted to do so.' (Ian Waldie/Getty Images - image credit)
The B.C. College of Nurses and Midwives has issued public advisories about four people who 'may be offering midwifery services and performing restricted activities … without being permitted to do so.' (Ian Waldie/Getty Images - image credit)

Just weeks after warning the public about the dangers of unlicensed midwives advertising their services in British Columbia, the provincial College of Nurse and Midwives has issued public advisories about four women suspected of unauthorized practice.

The advisories posted Monday morning name Madison Desjarlais and Janice Lim Hing of the Greater Vancouver area, Jacqueline Soule of Fort St. John and Annick Meckes of Campbell River, stating that all four "may be offering midwifery services and performing restricted activities … without being permitted to do so."

The advisories contain few details, but say that none of the four women have ever been licensed to practice midwifery.

The notices come after the college issued a public warning about unauthorized midwifery, saying it has received reports of "tragic outcomes — including death," from people who have used unlicensed providers.

"These individuals do not have the same training, experience and access to life-saving medications and equipment as midwives, nor integration with hospitals for emergency care if needed, resulting in significant risks to the health and safety of birthing persons and their babies," the college said.

The college said it issued the advisory because of a surge in complaints, with 13 reports in 18 months.

In B.C., midwifery is a regulated profession. Midwives must complete a four-year university program and pass a national exam before they can be registered with the college.

The title "midwife" is protected, and variations such as "birth attendant," "birth keeper," or "traditional midwife" are considered unauthorized if used by an unregistered provider.

The college has an online registry where patients can verify if a practitioner is licensed.