Midwife submits to lower court's decision

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 15, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — A woman convicted in 2011 of unlawfully practicing as a midwife following the death of a Rowan County infant she was helping deliver has dropped her appeal.
Emily “Amy” Hyatt Medwin will serve two years of probation and has been ordered not to practice as a midwife in North Carolina without a license.
Medwin was charged in February 2011 following the death of a baby in western Rowan County a month earlier. The baby died of natural causes.
Medwin pleaded not guilty in April 2011, but was convicted in Rowan County District Court. She appealed her conviction to Superior Court.
Medwin, of East Bend, and her lawyer, James Davis, appeared in Superior Court on Monday, where she dropped her appeal and her case was remanded to district court.
Davis said Medwin “is friends of the family” who lost their infant in 2011. “She did what she thought was best for everyone involved.”
In remanding her case, Medwin agreed to the sentence imposed in District Court.
North Carolina only allows certified nurse midwives, who must attend nursing school, to practice. The state does not recognize Certified Professional Midwives.
Medwin, who is licensed to practice in Virginia, was asked to assist in the birth of the Rowan County couple’s child as she had previously done for their two boys. She was also a longtime friend of the paternal grandmother of the infant.
The family received prenatal care from Medwin throughout the pregnancy, authorities said. Medwin said through her attorney during the 2011 trial that she did not provide prenatal care to the mother, but merely recommended a place for an ultrasound.
She had gone to the couple’s Sherrills Ford Road home at 4 a.m. Jan. 20, 2011, and checked the baby using a Doppler ultrasound. Medwin later left for her East Bend home so the mother could rest. The mother called Medwin around 8 a.m. to say her labor had progressed.
Medwin was not there when the baby was born.
Authorities received a call from Rowan Regional Medical Center that an infant had been brought there after being stillborn at home.
Medwin told law enforcement that when she arrived at the couple’s home, they were on their way to the hospital.
Medwin cleaned the area of the home where the baby had been born before investigators arrived, she told a detective, “because she did not want the family to come home to that.”
Medwin did not respond to an interview request Tuesday.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.