Oklahoma Midwife Charged With Practicing Medicine Without A License
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said his office has charged a midwife for practicing medicine without a license after an investigation revealed the woman performed a medical procedure during a recent home birth after the victim was in labor for nearly three days.
They say Debra Disch was permanently banned from obtaining a license to practice as a midwife in Arkansas in 2016. They say she performed an episiotomy on a woman named Suzie Bigler during her May birth in Roland. They say Disch also administered Pitocin to slow the woman’s bleeding after giving birth.
A news release states individuals in Oklahoma do not need a license to practice as a midwife, and Oklahoma has no laws regulating midwives, but people must have a medical license to perform an episiotomy and administer Pitocin.
Documents say the victim’s family repeatedly urged Disch to call an ambulance when complications began, but Disch refused. They say the baby was born lifeless and had to be resuscitated and during the lifesaving procedure, witnesses say Disch dropped the newborn.
They say following the birth, the mother began hemorrhaging uncontrollably, and Disch administered two Pitocin shots to control the bleeding. They say Pitocin is available by prescription only, and Disch did not have a valid prescription in Oklahoma.
They say emergency services were eventually called and Bigler and her baby were taken to the hospital, where they remained for several days.
Attorney General Mike Hunter says, “Our evidence shows that Disch was reckless in the way she performed this procedure and she was entirely outside the scope of her abilities and the law. The mother and her baby are lucky to be alive," Hunter said.
A warrant has been issued for Disch's arrest.