Treasured Birth’s Statement of Non-Bullying and Ethical Professional Support

Treasured Birth has a long-term goal to uphold the Ethics of Professional Midwifery Practice that supports the International Confederation of Midwives Statements made in 2003, which is the formulation and maintenance of healthy relationships, and an effort for midwives and students to work, support and validate each other. This includes the encouragement and growth of new midwives to practice in our communities. I vow never to bully, or belittle any student, or colleague in our community in order to better or make myself look good. The change starts with me — and you.

"Professional Ethics in Midwifery Practice" by Illysa Foster, page 121:

"It is a great travesty to the profession when new, educated inspired midwives are discredited and undermined by those who are threatened by shifting ways and ideas. To overcome these dynamics, midwifery organizations must take a stand on professional behavior among midwives. The ethical principles of beneficience, nonmaleficence, autonomy, and justice must be applied when working with other professionals, including midwife colleagues and their students."

Page 120.

"People who bully often feel threatened and are resistant to change (Marinah Farrell, 2007) Overt monitoring, humiliating, persistently criticizing, spreading malicious rumors, and excluding or ignoring are common bullying behaviors (Hadikin, 2001). Hierarchical structures may support bullying, much to the detriment of the quality of midwifery care."

"To overcome these dynamics, midwifery organizations must take a stand on professional behavior among midwives. Midwifery organizations can explore the concept of the integrity of the healthcare professional and create codes of conduct that set parameters on the behavior of midwives regarding their relationships with others. Midwives must not tolerate bullying in their labor and delivery units or their community. To stop bullying behavior, an individual or group must confront the perpetrator, or perpetrators, explain the effects of their behavior, and ask them to stop. Bullying is damaging to the bully, the victim, the community, and the profession. Greater awareness of bullying and codes of professional conduct that focus on professional relationships are needed."

There are several organizations that have created Codes of ethical conduct regarding collaboration, referral, or transfer of care. ICM’s International Code of Ethics for Midwives (2003) contains the most developed guidelines relating to working with other professionals. "It is important for midwives to seek and understand the reasons for disagreements with clients and colleagues. Midwives should not stop with just understanding, or respect however. They must work to also resolve those conflicts that need to be resolved in order for ethical care to continue. The emphasis is on the relationship, to go beyond quelling the disagreement and to actively seek resolution of conflict."

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