Hungarian midwife in jail

Hungarian OB/Midwife, Agnes Gereb, has been incarcerated for attending home births. This is a powerful piece speaking to her cause and is a call-to-action over the Dark Age-style health policies still alive today. One of my favourite quotes in the video: “Psychiatry and obstetrics are two of the most insane fields within the world of medicine.” The video features Psychotherapist, Andrew Feldmar, Please watch it and pass it on.

What can we do to obtain the release of Agnes (Agi) Gereb?

1. Contact politicians, media and relevant agencies in your country to
protest against the events in Hungary, and to insist that they contact the
Hungarian government directly to express their disapproval.

2. Contact the Hungarian embassy in your country. In particular, if any of
you are in a position to organise a protest demonstration outside the
Hungarian embassy in your country, we would be pleased to know of this and
to help you in this task.

3. Send a letter of protest to and of the following people:

• Ministry of Health in Hungary (Dr. Miklos Szocska, Ministry
of Health, Social and Family Affairs, Budapest 1051, Arany Janos Utca
6-8, Hungary)

• Ministry of Justice in Hungary (Dr. Forgacs Imre Jozsef,
Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement, Igazsagugyi és Rendeszeti
Miniszterium, 1363 Budapest, Pf. 54., Hungary).

• Prime Minister of Hungary (Viktor Orban, 1054 Budapest,
Hungary, Szechenyi rakpart 19). fidesz@fidesz.hu

• *János Martonyi Minister of Foreign Affairs *kozkapcsolat@kum.hu

*• **Tibor Navracsics*, Minister of Public Administration and Justice

1357 Budapest Pf.2 lakossag@kim.gov.hu**

• *Office of Parliament,** *Committee on Human Rights,
Minorities, Civil and Religious Matters. 1358 Budapest, Széchenyi rkp.
19. emb@parlament.hu

• *Sándor Pintér, Minister of the Interior* 1903 Budapest Pf.:
314 ugyfelszolgalat@bm.gov.hu

• *Dr. Tamás Kovács, State Prosecutor* State Prosecutor’s Office

1372 Budapest, Pf. 438. lu@mku.hu

• *Budapest** Courts* 1363 Bp. Pf. 16 Fax: +361-354-6066

• *Hungarian National Press Service* 1016 Budapest, Naphegy tér
8.mti@mti.hu

4. Send a postcard with words of support to Dr. Agnes Gereb in prison
at Fovarosi Buntetes Vegrehajtasi Intezet., 1055 Budapest, Nagy Ignac
u. 5-11, Hungary

5. Join the Free Gereb Agnes page on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1132929673

6. Sign the petition for birth choices in Hungary:
http://www.petitiononline.com/szul2010/petition.html

7. Donate money towards Dr. Gereb’s legal expenses:

Születésház Egyesület

CIB Bank

10700567-65588927-52000001

IBAN: HU54-1070-0567-6558-8927-5200-0001

8. Spread the word! Inform your friends about this campaign.

Dec 21, 2010 update

Agnes has been released home on “house arrest”. This was on Facebook from Ina May Gaskin:

Here’s what Ina May has on her FB page: On December 20th, Agnes’ birthday, the Ministry of Natural Resources and its Department of Health held a press conference and publicly announced the birth of the new regulations regarding out of hosp…ital deliveries. There are some severe r…estrictions, like no previous C-sections, but we are hoping that this is just a start. The government promised to build birth centers in the countryside so that women can benefit from midwife assisted out of hospital births there
as well until many more home birth midwives will be trained.

Now we’d like to see all charges dropped against her and the other 4 midwives who have been charged with “reckless endangerment.” International pressure clearly helped.

4 thoughts on “Hungarian midwife in jail

  1. do you know whether Agi reads english or only hungarian?

    Im really starting to believe in the psychiatric effects of traumatic births on people’s lives. maybe that’s why my five year old daughter is so mind bendingly slow to get out the door: she was rushed at birth.

    the part from the video that stuck in my mind was how the greeks have two words for time! of course. that makes so much more sense than having a single cruel word in english.

    • Hi Amy, so glad you watched the video. I’ll see if I can find out if she speaks any English. The video is really good food for thought about the consequences to the psyche of traumatic birth. Poor babies!

  2. Pingback: Agnes Gereb, in jail in Hungary « Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly with God

  3. http://www.thestar.co.za/midwife-guilty-of-malpractice-1.1047124

    ‘Midwife’ guilty of malpractice
    March 25 2011 at 10:31am
    By PABLO GORONDI
    ________________________________

    AP
    Hungarian midwife Agnes Gereb attends her court session during her malpractice
    trial in Budapest, Hungary.
    Budapest – An obstetrician considered the main advocate for home births in
    Hungary was sentenced on Thursday to two years in prison for malpractice, just
    weeks after the government decided to regulate the activity.

    Agnes Gereb was found guilty of medical negligence in two separate home births,
    including one in which the baby died. She will have to spend at least a year
    behind bars before parole and was also banned from practising both as an
    obstetrician and a midwife for five years.

    Lawyers representing Gereb and several other midwives charged in connection
    with four home births that occurred between 2003 and 2007, said they had
    appealed the decision of the Budapest City Court.

    “We don’t expect the appeal to be heard before autumn,” said lawyer Tamas
    Fazekas.

    The verdict in Gereb’s case was unusual because the judge’s sentence was much
    tougher than the suspended prison term originally sought by the prosecution.

    Nonetheless, prosecutors also appealed the ruling, asking for Gereb’s
    professional bans to be extended and for the court to eliminate the possibility
    of her parole, Fazekas said. Another midwife was fined 300 000 forints ( $1
    600) while three others were acquitted.

    Gereb’s litigation became a rallying point for Hungarians seeking to accept home
    births as a regulated method of delivery.

    Earlier this month, the government said home births will be allowed from May 1,
    but only under strict safety conditions.

    Until now, women in Hungary had the right to give birth at home, but medical
    professionals were banned from assisting planned home births.

    Last week, during the final stages of the trial, Gereb and her colleagues
    appealed for clemency to President Pal Schmitt, but he had not yet seen the
    request, a presidency official told state news wire MTI late on Thursday.

    A group of Hungarian midwives criticised the ruling against Gereb, saying the
    court applied different standards to home births from those used in deliveries
    at a hospital.

    “In civilised countries, midwives answer for their work to professional
    associations, not courts,” said a statement from the Birth Home Association.
    “They are judged not solely by experts who have experience only in hospital
    births, but by professionals who know about home births.”

    Fazekas said Gereb would remain under house arrest until the appeal is heard
    because she is also under investigation by Budapest police in other cases of
    complications in home births. Because of a similar case in 2007, Gereb was
    already given a three-year ban from exercising her profession.

    Gereb’s advocacy and her determination to assist with thousands of home births
    over the years has received plenty of media attention in Hungary, with public
    opinion about her deeply split.

    She was recently voted one of Hungary’s “Women of the Decade” in a popular
    women’s weekly and several prominent doctors and midwives from Britain and the
    United States appealed last year for Gereb’s release to the Hungarian
    government and parliament. – Sapa-AP

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