A More Detailed Response

At the advice of my attorney I am responding to the letter from “J” that is being circulated. In the interest of time, I am responding with direct trial transcript. I am only hitting the highlights as I am having to type and search these statements all by hand as the copies I have are non-searchable image PDF files. In other words, I’m having to type it all up by hand. The words in italics are “J’s” words from her email and bold type are the response from the transcripts.

“IR” means that the quote is from an Investigative Report Interview and “TT” means that the quote is from the Trial Transcript.

I have all the documents (both the investigation report in full and the trial transcripts along with all pictures and video… oh, yes and now the appeal) at my home. ANYONE who is interested is welcome to come over for tea and read them. My life has, and will always remain, open and genuine in the service of women. However, I have removed the names of others from these quotes, including Mrs. “J” as she requested, since so many others live in fear.

-Katie McCall

1. “Next week, Katie will face the California Medical Board to regain her license, and she’s currently appealing her guilty ruling from last year’s trial. Since she is now seeking a reinstatement of her license, and has the potential to practice again, it is time for me to confront these untruths.

Next week the Medical Board plans to begin their process to REVOKE my license which is currently not suspended or revoked. You may easily look up my name on the Medical Board’s website, where I am listed as “delinquent” because I refused to pay my renewal fee: http://www2.dca.ca.gov/pls/wllpub/wllqryna$lcev2.startup?p_qte_code=LM&p_qte_pgm_code=6200

2. “What I am sharing is consistent with court documents and the statements of at least two witnesses, and I hope will give a more complete account of the actual case.”

Please see the actual trial quotes below.

3. “The details I am sharing with you reflect my initial statement to the California Medical Board made several years ago, and my testimony in court; my story is consistent and has not changed.”

Please also see the quotes from her investigation interview, dated July 29, 2010, below. This interview is the first time she cooperated with the Medical Board’s investigation despite the complaint being filed back in December 2007. One of the reasons the complaint didn’t go anywhere for three years was because “J” would not respond to their requests for further information during that time.

4. “We were not told that a midwife would not be present, and were led to believe that everything was being handled as agreed upon. This is the most striking claim made by Ms. McCall, and one that was not generated until well after the birth. When I arrived to testify at the trial, I expected that our experiences might differ slightly with regard to some details, but that much of our testimonies would be congruent. I was stunned when the District Attorney informed me of Katie’s defense: that on arrival to our birth, she had told us no midwife would be attending and that we should transfer. This never happened.”

TT, page 935, line 27: Prosecutor: “At some point she left the room that you were in and then ultimately returned?” “J”: “That’s right.” Prosecutor: “And then when she returned she told you that the midwife was unavailable?” “J”: “Yes. That’s correct.”

TT, page 936, line 26: Prosecutor: “When the defendant walked back in and advised you that the midwife was not available, describe the defendant’s actions after advising you that the midwife was not available.” “J”: “She seemed very confident in explaining it to us, and she said, I think, that she would continue trying or that she would reach someone else. The impression was given that she would keep trying to reach one of the midwives.”

5. “No one witnessed Ms. McCall contacting other preceptors, and there is no evidence that this occurred.”

IR, page 37, line 8: “J”: “I think my husband remembers that she was actually on the phone like she was — she was actually — she had the phone to her ear. I’m not sure exactly whether she was leaving a message or calling someone else, but after that she told us that she had called the midwife and I’m fairly sure that she said she would be unavailable”

6. “At no point in the labor or post-birth period did Ms. McCall recommend a transfer. Three witnesses corroborate this and testified to it in court under oath. If Ms. McCall had recommended a transfer, we would have transferred. This is especially true of my husband, who would have been entirely uncomfortable without a properly qualified midwife, and would have insisted on going to the hospital immediately.”

IR, page 42, line 21: “J”: “And she, at that point, suggested that I — I had been laboring for a really long time and my body was getting exhausted and if I continued to be exhausted like that, that I would need to transfer.”

IR, page 45, line 5: “J”: “So after that, she (Katie) left the room and I just resolved — after Melanie said to me and I knew that everything was ok with the baby, I just resolved that I — I was just going to have the baby and that I — I wasn’t going to think about transferring”

TT, page 1010, line 7: “J”: “She did not say hospital. She said transfer, that was the term she used. It was implied that, yes, that would be going to the hospital.” Defense attorney: “She used the word transfer?” “J”: “Yes.” Defense attorney: “And you understood that to mean transfer to a hospital?” “J”: “That’s right.”

7. “A transfer was never recommended. If a transfer had been recommended for any legitimate reason, I would have transferred.”

TT, page 960, line 15: Prosecutor: “Did the word ‘hospital’ ever come up after that one time that she (Katie) recommended that you go to the hospital?” “J”: “There was no reference to it after that point.”

8. “The diagnosis of shoulder dystocia is highly questionable, since some of the obvious warning signs were not present. The diagnosis was also not confirmed by a medical professional. Katie initially treated this suspected issue with techniques contra-indicated for the condition, such as pulling on the baby’s head when it emerged and failing to wait for the next imminent contraction to birth the baby’s shoulders and body.”

IR, EMT interview synopsis with Investigator Yanik, page 2: “She explained that the baby’s shoulders got stuck (shoulder dystocia) as the baby was coming out. She said that the baby was “very, very large.” However, she said, “Katie did a good job getting the baby out. That was not the problem.” She said the baby was birthed safely, had a “beautiful pink color,” and was breathing normally.”

TT, page 1513, line 6: EMT: “In medical terms we call it turtling… what actually happened was that the baby’s head bobbed back and forth as it tried to come out and couldn’t, to our knowledge.” Defense attorney: “And did that concern you?” EMT: “It did. It was a high concern at that point because what that normally is a sign of is shoulder dystocia.”

TT, page 1514, line 8: Defense attorney: “Did you ever see Ms. McCall pull on that baby’s neck to get it out?” EMT: “Never.”

9. “It is likely that Katie contributed to or directly caused the postpartum hemorrhage by removing the placenta prematurely, with ungloved hands.”

TT, page 1034, line 17: Defense attorney: “When she (Katie) manually removed your placenta, did she have on a glove or did she not have on a glove?” “J”: “I did not see. I was lying down. I did not see whether she had a glove on.”

TT, page 1035, line 17: Defense attorney: “When Ms. McCall manually removed your placenta, I just want to know if you know was she wearing gloves or was she not wearing gloves?” “J”: “I do not know.”

10. “The extensive bleeding was largely ignored by Ms. McCall until it became potentially life-threatening. She did not treat it immediately as has been suggested. Instead, she did not attempt to treat the bleeding until the acupuncturist who was present expressed distress over my appearance.”

IR, page 53, line 2: “J”: “This would have been 10 to 15 minutes after the birth. So it wasn’t as though she waited for the placenta to come out. But she had been concerned about bleeding I guess at that point, although there wasn’t that much blood.”

TT, page 1516, line 10: Defense attorney: “Can you tell the jury what was happening when that photograph was taken?” EMT: “That was directly after the mother had hemorrhaged, the baby had been born and the placenta had been birthed. The hemorrhaging had been stopped by Ms. McCall and the mom kind of looked down and started to giggle and said “Oh my gosh, look…” Defense attorney: “Did she make a face?” EMT: “She did. She laid down and made a face and said, “Take a picture…” Defense attorney: “What did the mother say if you remember, when this picture was taken?” EMT: “She said, ‘Look at all this blood around me,’ handed the camera to someone and said, ‘Here, take a picture of me pretending I’m dead,’ and that’s when she laid down, had her tongue hang out and had them take a picture.”

TT, page 1517, line 16: Defense attorney: “Did you see a hemorrhage or a large amount of blood loss from the mother?” EMT: “Directly after the birth, yes.” Defense attorney: “Did that concern you?” EMT: “Yes it did.” Defense attorney: “Did it concern Ms. McCall?” EMT: “Yes it did.”

11. “Earlier in the birth, Katie had requested the presence of a woman who was considering becoming a doula to provide labor support under Katie. She had worked as an EMT but did not serve in this capacity or provide medical assistance at the birth.”

The video played at trial shows the EMT providing all of the assessments. I (Katie) am not even IN the video, which was shot by the acupuncturist.

12. “Both my child and I were injured as a result of our treatment at the birth.”

TT, page 2422, line 22: The Judge (after hearing the entire case): “I also want to point out that there was a happy ending in this case. The mother and the baby are healthy. The baby had no problems. The mother is ok. And that’s the good part about the situation.” As a result, he did not order that I pay any restitution to “J” or her family because there were no injuries so they were not entitled to any.

13. “Further, when she (the acupuncturist) filed the report, she believed she was reporting a licensed midwife for gross negligence. She did not realize Ms. McCall was unlicensed, and learned this only after filing the report.”

From the acupuncturists original complaint: “Ms. McCall is practicing midwifery without a license, both as a lead midwife and alone. By law she is required to have a licensed midwife present at every birth she attends.”

14. “Katie was paid in full in advance of the birth, in the amount of $1,500, on the schedule that she had requested. At one point, she claimed that she had accidentally ruined one of the checks in the wash, and asked for a replacement.”

IR of “J”, page 17, line 11: Investigator: “How much was it agreed? What was the agreement payment?” J: “I believe it was $2,000 and I don’t quite remember the payment schedule. I believe it was maybe $500 at– at the initial appointment and then I might have paid $500 every few weeks after that.”

15. “This midwife was on the witness list and prepared to testify under oath that she was never called. The midwife involved was prepared to testify under oath that she was not attending another birth, nor had she planned to attend our birth, nor had she ever heard of us.”

TT, page 2405, line 5: Defense attorney: “The prosecutor spoke to the midwife, as did I, and she confirmed that the night in question, your honor, she was at another birth. She confirmed that. Now to say that Ms. McCall did not make an attempt to contact a preceptor is false because she confirmed that she was at another birth. That would be quite an elaborate scenario to orchestrate by Ms. McCall.”

16. “I later learned that none of the women listed as Katie’s preceptors were even licensed to practice midwifery in the state of California. This means that even if Katie had contacted one of them, she would not have fulfilled her commitment to provide a licensed midwife at the birth”

The list of midwives submitted as evidence by the Prosecution lists the two midwives as “DEM” and unlicensed. This list was given to the Prosecution by “J” as evidence of paperwork I gave her before her birth. I must admit here, that I was under the impression from both my school and members of the Midwifery Advisory Council that midwives who practice under “religious exemption” were legally practicing in the state of California. I stand corrected.

17. “One of the three midwives Katie claimed to work with had never supervised Katie at a birth, and had no arrangement with her to be listed as a preceptor. She has never been involved with her in any professional capacity.”

I have attended births with EVERY midwife I ever listed as a supervising midwife when I was a student. Unfortunately she doesn’t list a name, so I’m unsure who she is referring to.

18. “She (Katie) received her license only because of a clerical error on the part of the California Medical Board, which failed to properly search for her name (using “Katie McCall” instead of “Katherine McCall”) during the licensing process. As a result, they did not see the complaint filed against her or the investigation which was in process. Katie McCall would not have been licensed had this error not occurred.”

The Medical Board does not look people up “by name.” They run a fingerprint and social security number Lifescan background check Further, on all of the Investigation Report documents from the Medical Board I am listed as Katharine Louise McCall (the correct spelling of my first name).

19. “Although Ms. McCall initially refused to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for leniency, this was not the case once the trial was underway. Following the testimony of me and my husband, she and her attorney sought a plea from the District Attorney who was prosecuting the case. At that point it had become evident that her testimony was not the truth and that a guilty verdict was likely. The DA refused the plea.”

This event (an attempt to request a plea after “J”s testimony) does not exist. It is nowhere recorded in either the defense or prosecution’s records.

20. “Katie McCall was not convicted of a felony for palpating a belly or taking blood pressure. She was convicted for gross negligence, dishonesty, and life-threatening actions at a birth, and for practicing medicine without a license.”

I was convicted of practicing medicine without a license and no other charge.

21. “It is about a woman who acted far beyond the boundaries of her training and the desires of birthing parents, whose actions resulted in serious complications, and who then proceeded to lie in court, and to all of you.

This is a serious charge– perjury.  As is typical for criminal cases, I did not testify at trial and therefore this is simply impossible as an initial matter.  But more troubling is that “J” is actually making a claim that perjury was committed.  

22. “These stories are simply too different to be reconciled to each other; one of us is speaking the truth, one is not.”

Agreed.

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About supportmidwifekatiemccall

Katie McCall was born at Pomona Valley Hospital in Southern California by scheduled c-section as a frank breech due to the current medical system insistence that breeches should always be delivered that way. Katie's father's family was filled with teachers, her mother's family was filled with healers. It is no surprise then, that she went on to have her own two children and spend her adult life involved in a combination of teaching and healing through midwifery, childbirth education, doula work and serving families in Southern California. Katie attended USC for her general education and then went on to study with the American Academy of Husband Coached Childbirth to become a certified childbirth educator. Shortly thereafter, she certified as a birth doula (labor assistant) with the Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators. Katie was also mentored through a pregnancy and birth support business called The Birth Connection in Glendale, CA, which Katie later purchased and expanded to include a 1500 square foot education facility, retail store and birthing center. She enrolled in midwifery school and apprenticed with the midwives who ran the birth center as well as with midwives who attended homebirths. She sold her business to pursue her midwifery education full time in 2006 and passed her midwifery (NARM) exam to become a Certified Professional Midwife in 2008. She went on to gain her Midwifery License from the State of CA Medical Board in 2010. Katie has received supplementary education in lactation to become a lactation educator, vaginal birth after cesarean support, support of sexual abuse survivors, aromatherapy and is neonatal and CPR certified. She assisted over 500 couples through childbirth education and attended over 550 births as of 2011. As a Southern California native, she has a wide range of experience, serving mothers from diverse backgrounds. She believes her job is one of empowering women to develop their own trust and connection with their bodies and their babies during their own unique journey into motherhood. If she has learned anything through her experience with birth, it is that every birth is as different as the women who are laboring. On August 17th, 2011 Katharine “Katie” McCall, a licensed midwife, was convicted of practicing medicine with out a license for a 2007 birth she assisted as a student. The charge arose from a home birth where Katie's supervising midwife could not arrive because she was at another birth. Instead of leaving the family to birth unassisted, Katie stayed. She recommended that the family transfer to the hospital and the family refused. They were aware that she was only a student midwife and that she was unable to secure an overseeing mid View all posts by supportmidwifekatiemccall

11 responses to “A More Detailed Response

  • Anneli

    A very good response Katie. Support and love from Sweden! ❤

  • MomOf7

    Thank you for this post, I was hoping to be able to read your side pertaining to the previous post. One question. May I ask why you charged for services as a student?

    • supportmidwifekatiemccall

      No problem. With a couple of my supervising midwives, they preferred that I handle the money and paperwork and then pay them to supervise me. At that point as a student I was also collecting some money for my time and childcare. My rate plus the supervisor’s fee totaled $1500 for this particular birth. My rectords indicate that I was paid $200 in one check and then the remaining $1300 was paid in another that went through the wash in my pocket. I asked the client to write another check, which I didn’t receive before she went into labor. I went, assuming her husband would just write a check to the supervising midwife, which of course did not happen when that midwife didn’t come.

      • Ellen

        One thing that I noticed is that neither J nor R could show canceled checks, only the check duplicates from when they wrote the checks. I’m amazed that this was even allowed as evidence because I could write a check to anyone and claim they cashed it. The carbon copy only shows you wrote the check, not that you delivered it or that it was cashed.

  • anne21703

    I’m glad you posted this response, Katie. It helps clarify the situation, taking it somewhat out of the realm of “she said, she said”. Keep us posted in the status of your appeal.

  • Emily Moothart

    I’m glad you posted this response, Katie. It helps clarify the situation, taking it somewhat out of the realm of “she said, she said”. Keep us posted on the status of your appeal.

  • Alexandra

    Hi Katie,
    I live in Kansas. I have four children born at home and have attended many homebirths myself in the capacity of friend and doula (although I am a physician who provided prenatal care and attended hospital births during internship).
    I am following your blog and am filled with emotion when I read each of your posts. I have never commented as I hardly know what to say. I would love to bring you a meal, take your kids for a fun afternoon while you rest, just look you in the eyes with love.
    For now, I just want to express how grateful I am that you are articulating your experience and that I hope we all evolve into more of what we are capable of. You model doing so, profoundly.

    • Ellen

      Alexandra, I’m Katie’s mom, and I can’t tell you how much it means to see kind words like this. I am so extremely proud of Katie for the woman she is. I am amazed that she has been able to stay tender and loving and gentle. Maybe, God willing, you and Katie will meet and have that meal while the children play, when all of this is finally behind us.

  • Ellen

    One additional response to the “ungloved hands” lie is that J’s own photos of the birth show that Katie wore gloves the entire time.

  • An Interesting Conversation « supportmidwifekatiemccall

    […] kick and scream for your right to do otherwise. Funny you posted this and not the response to it. https://supportmidwifekatiemccall.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/a-more-detailed-response/   Birtha:Why haven’t you sued your former client, her husband and the acupuncturist for […]

  • An Interesting Conversation « supportmidwifekatiemccall

    […] kick and scream for your right to do otherwise. Funny you posted this and not the response to it. https://supportmidwifekatiemccall.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/a-more-detailed-response/ Birtha:Why haven’t you sued your former client, her husband and the acupuncturist for […]

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