2 Feb 2015

Midwife censured over affair

6:55 pm on 2 February 2015

A midwife who had a sexual relationship with the partner of the pregnant friend she was caring for has been found to have breached her professional boundaries.

A report by the Health and Disability Commissioner details how the midwife agreed to care for a close friend during her third pregnancy in 2013.

The report said the midwife and the woman's partner then started sleeping with and "sexting" each other.

The woman found out after the birth of her child, when she discovered text messages on her partner's cellphone.

Commissioner Anthony Hill found it was appropriate for the midwife to agree to care for her friend, and that the care given was reasonable.

However, he ruled the midwife was in breach of professional standards by entering into a sexual relationship with the man while caring for his partner.

"The difficulty is, of course, that it both disempowers the woman and the potential wellbeing of the woman but also provides a potential loss of objectively for the health professional, who needs to be able to make good decisions under pressure."

The midwife has been referred to the Health and Disability Director of Proceedings, who is a lawyer who will consider whether any further action will be taken.

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