JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – By reinstating a law that legalizes midwifery, the Missouri Supreme Court blocked an effort by physicians’ associations to keep the law from going into effect.
The judges concluded that the Missouri State Medical Association, the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, the Missouri Academy of Family Physicians and the St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society lack standing to challenge a provision of House Bill 818, which legalizes tocology, or midwifery.
Physicians have no “legally protectable interest” in litigation, the court ruled, because they are not subject to discipline for cooperating with midwives.
As a result, “plaintiffs cannot predicate standing on the perceived risk that their physician members will be subject to discipline,” the full court ruled.
The court overturned the lower court’s invalidation of the midwifery provision.
Judge Price dissented, saying the unconstitutional provision should be severed from the rest of the bill.