Dear Ágnes Geréb,
The Nordic Confederation of Midwives Associations just posted this on the website of the Hungarian President. All the best wishes from your colleagues in the Nordic countries:
To the President of Hungary
As the President for the Nordic Confederation of Midwife Associations I write on behalf of the six chairpersons of the National Nordic Midwife Associations, representing all private and public midwifery practice in the Nordic countries. I hereby repeat our petition for clemency for Dr. Agnes Gereb. Formerly we addressed the Hungarian MoH on the subject of legislation pertaining to autonomous midwifery practice in Hungary presently.
We are very concerned about the situation of Dr. Agnes Gereb, and in order to support our midwifery colleagues in Hungary, we implore you to grant her pardon and guarantee just treatment in matters of complaints against any midwife’s professional actions via a system of health oriented disciplinary commissions, with representation of the group of health employees or independent practitioners in question.
Criminal investigation is not an appropriate tool for development and adjustment of the health policies.
We are aware that Dr. Gereb has been both imprisoned and subsequently held under continuing severe house arrest conditions since 5th October 2010, because of her involvement in certain adverse home birth incidents and claims made about her professional actions.
This is an abominable treatment of any midwife and/or doctor, no matter where and how she or he has practiced.
Sensible and effective alternative approaches are available in dealing with claims of professional misconduct against midwives; all Nordic countries have models for dealing with complaints and misconducts both as a disciplinary measure and as learning organisation. We have confidence in the effectiveness and appropriateness of these systems in their varieties within our Nordic Corporation, and we stand ready to share with you whatever knowledge in this field you might want to investigate further.
No matter what foundation the original complaint has had – there is no doubt in our minds that Dr. Agnes Gereb has been tried and punished far beyond any reason.
Thanking you for your attention in taking this address under consideration,
I remain yours sincerely,
On behalf of the Midwife Associations of Iceland, Faroe Islands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland:
RM, RN, M.Ed.
Associate professor, University of Iceland, Department of Midwifery
President of the Nordic Confederation of Midwife Associations (NJF)
Icelandic Midwifery Association, International affairs.