A former midwife has pleaded not guilty to two counts of manslaughter in relation to the deaths of two babies during home births.

Lisa Barrett appeared in Adelaide Magistrates Court over the deaths of Tully Kavanagh in October 2011 and another baby, who can’t be named, in December 2012, reports 9 news.

The two deaths were declared major crimes by police in 2013, with prosecutors alleging Ms Barrett failed to properly supervise the births.

After an inquest in 2012, South Australian Deputy Coroner Anthony Schapel found that Tully Kavanagh, the second of twins his mother planned to have at home, would have survived had he been delivered in a hospital.

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He made similar findings in relation to the deaths of two other babies who died during home births in which Ms Barrett was involved. (not subject to charges)

Magistrate Elizabeth Sheppard continued Ms Barrett’s bail and committed her to the Supreme Court for arraignment in June.

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  • Isn’t it basic common sense that your babies have more chance of surviving birth if it happens at a hospital? I’m not sure I agree with thus woman being charged, unless there is obvious negligence and lack of care. Parents should realise the risks when they choose home births, why punish the midwife for thus?

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  • I personally prefer hospitals to get the best care possible and if my babies need extra care it’s all there when they are born.

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  • You would think you would want to move out by the age of 30?

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  • I don’t think she actually would have caused the deaths but she should have known which clients should have had hospital births and which were safe as home birth.

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  • In all honesty it’s probably not really the midwife’s fault. so many things can go wrong in birth and without the proper facilities of a hospital? Well, I think the parents need to take some responsibility for this.

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  • I’m not in favour of home births for me personally. I want to have access to everything that is needed in case anything goes wrong. I would assume that midwives are fully legitimised to perform home births. There is no winner in this case. There is no satisfactory outcome when a child is not born alive. There is no good outcome for the family and their trauma. Hopefully the justice system gets it right in their outcome.

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  • All midwives should be thoroughly capable or they should not be in the profession. Feel sure the judge acted properly in this case, but my heart goes out to those who hired this person who was not sufficiently trained to deal with home births.

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  • I feel very sorry for the parents and families involved. We put so much trust in health professionals whether it’s home or hospital births. It is tragic when things go wrong due to human error.

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  • There’s also responsibility on the parents that choose home birthing options you don’t know what can wrong during the birth this is why the hospital should be the first place people should pick

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