Lawsuit filed against local midwife

Published On: Mar 26 2013 06:52:05 PM HST   Updated On: Mar 27 2013 10:11:37 AM HST

Midwives and home births have become more popular in Hawaii.  But, when things go wrong can a midwife handle the situation?

A Hawaii lawyer is pushing for regulations following accusations of a botched birth.

In 2011, Margaret Drake called her naturopath saying her water had broke and her contractions started.

The baby was coming, but the help didn't.  Drake says nobody showed up at her Manoa home until the next day!

"The delivery process went on for over two days.  The naturopath should have taken Margaret to the hospital for an emergency C-section but did not," said Drake's attorney Richard Turbin.

Baby Makaio was born limp and taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Nearly two years later, Makaio still has serious issues.

"Severe brain damage.  Developmental difficulties.  Will have most likely development difficulties for the rest of his life," said Turbin.

A lawsuit was filed this week against the naturopath, Lori Kimata, assistant Kaja Gibbs and the Sacred Healing Arts Center.

Drake says Kimata came highly recommended as a midwife.

"It's very popular.  Many friends of mine have done it, as you can tell from the article in the Honolulu Weekly," said Drake.  "It's more well-known and accepted and advertised as a safe option with people who knew what they are doing."

"Although the naturopath claimed she was a midwife, there are actually no legalized, licensed midwives in the state of Hawaii because midwifery in the state of Hawaii is not regulated," said Turbin.

Turbin is hoping that will change with the next legislative session.  Senate Health Chairman and ER doctor Josh Green agrees.

"We license other professionals in the medical field, of course.  Midwives should be no exception," said Sen. Green.  "In these particular cases, deliveries can go south quickly where mom could die  or obviously a child could be injured and disabled for a lifetime so it's gonna have to happen."

The suit seeks damages from the defendants.  KITV4 News was unable to reach naturopathic doctor Lori Kimata for comment.

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