A high-profile midwife who was featured in a New York cover story and the documentary The Business of Being Born is being sued by a Manhattan couple who blame her for their baby's death. The midwife, Carla Muhlhahn, is one of the most well-known midwives, and it's not the first time she's been sued; in 2003, she settled a $950,000 lawsuit after a baby was partially paralyzed. In the current lawsuit, Catherine and Ricardo McKenzie accuse Muhlhahn of gross negligence and recklessness during the delivery, which lasted three days in their West 113th Street apartment.
Lawyers for the McKenzies say Muhlhahn (and two midwives assisting her) broke state law by failing to refer Catherine McKenzie to a doctor during the long delivery, even though a hospital was less than two blocks away. They also fault Muhlhahn for failing to have a written practice agreement with a hospital where a licensed doctor could provide care. A heartbreaking comment left on the New York website may be from the McKenzies; according to the Post, the baby had been strangled with her umbilical cord.