Midwife fined for affair with husband of her pregnant patient
A New Zealand midwife has been censured on the grounds of professional misconduct after confessing to having a sexual relationship and five-month affair with her pregnant patient's husband.
The New Zealand Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal found the midwife, whose name has not been released, guilty of misconduct and malpractice.
The disciplinary tribunal heard that the pregnant woman in question initially confronted her husband about her suspicions but he denied any impropriety with the treating midwife. She said she felt "as if she was going crazy" thinking that her midwife was sleeping with the father of her children.
The pregnant woman stated that the discovery of the affair had a devastating emotional impact on her and her family. She reported feeling distressed about the need for both her and her baby to undergo testing for sexually transmitted diseases.
The tribunal's director of proceedings said that the midwife's name should not be removed from the professional register as the nurse had expressed regret and attempted to apologise to her client, including writing a letter. The director also noted that normally a 9 to 12 month suspension would be warranted but was not necessary because the midwife had voluntarily removed herself from practice for 5 months.
The tribunal also noted that the midwife had undergone a midwifery standards review, personal counselling, had been open about the complaint with new employers while seeking a new job, and had mentoring.
She was censured, ordered to pay $11,400 in costs and to continue with her mentoring and counselling for a period of time. The midwife was also prohibited from providing care to friends or family for 18 months and had a limit placed on the number of patients she could see for 24 months.
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