Friday, February 1, 2013

Human Rights in Childbirth: Dignity, Respect & Responsibility

Human Rights in Childbirth:
Dignity, Respect & Responsibility

Friday, 22nd March 2013
Jasper Hotel Conference Centre, Elizabeth St Melbourne

This forum will explore the strengths and limitations of human rights and respectful care frameworks in advancing maternity reform in Australia.  It aims to bring together the policy, legal and women’s health communities along with professional providers and birth consumer groups to discuss strategies for improving the quality of care for birthing women and those supporting them.

This dialogue will build on several recent initiatives:
  •        the European Human Rights conference held in the Hague in June 2012
  •        the Childbirth and the Law conference in Sydney in October 2012
  •        the international initiative, Respectful Maternity Care.
 9.30-9.45 registration and coffee
welcome and introduction- Dr Cath Crock, Executive Director, Australian Institute for Patient and Family Centred care
Session 1- Chair:  Professor Rhonda Small
How valuable are human rights frameworks for evaluating and improving the care of childbearing women?
10-15am-11.15am: The documentary film: ‘Freedom for Birth’
11.15-11.30 Morning tea
11.30-1pm discussion led by panel of speakers:  Dr Liz Curran, Dominique Saunders, Dr Regina Quiazon, Prof Euan Wallace, Bashi Hazard.

 1-1.45pm LUNCH
Session 2- The Respectful Maternity Care Charter: what are the local implications of this international initiative? Chair Dr Karen Lane.
2-2.25 Beth Wilson, The challenge of improving institutional and professional practice in health care.
2.30-3.30 Panel discussion: Tina Pettigrew, Clare Lane, doctor (to be confirmed), consumer/s  
3.30-3.45 Afternoon tea.

3.45- 4.20 Session 3: Using human rights and respect approaches in maternity reform:
Convenor Leslie Arnott
Structured working groups will use prepared case studies to identify and report back on action strategies needed to improve maternity care

4.20-4.30 Conclusions and future directions

Registration (includes all refreshments)

Cost $80; concession $40
Please note:
In order to facilitate effective dialogue across professional and consumer fields, we are seeking to place a range of participants at each table.  Places are limited to 80 and will be allocated through a pre-registration process. Please send your expression of interest in attending, providing contact details, experience and present role, to as soon as possible. By mid-February you will be contacted with the web link for full registration.



Auspiced by Legal Studies and Gender, Sexuality and Diversity Studies at La Trobe University and supported by

the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University


Also  supported by the Violence and Discrimination Against Women Research Network (VDAWnet), Childbirth Australia, the Maternity Coalition, The Australian College of Midwives Vic Branch (MIDPLUS points application applied for)  and the Australian Institute for Patient and Family Centred Care  

Kerreen Reiger  (La Trobe University) on behalf of the Steering Committee

Facilitators and Speakers

 Dr Catherine Crock is a mother of five children and a physician who is deeply committed to working with families to redesign services and improve the quality and safety of healthcare. Her initial work towards improving pain management for children at the Royal Children’s hospital led to interest in the role of music in health care and to co-founding the Hush Music Foundation. In 2009 Cath won an international Churchill Fellowship to study the benefits of family involvement in effective health care. Cath is widely known for the passion she brings to her leadership of the Australian movement for patient and family centred care.

Professor Rhonda Small, who is the Director of the Mother and Child Health Research Centre, La Trobe University, has been involved in several programs of research into maternity care experiences over the last 20 years including: women's views and experiences of maternity care, cross-cultural issues in perinatal research and birth outcomes for immigrant and refugee women, models of maternity care, promoting normal birth, maternal depression, women's health and intimate partner violence.

Dr Liz Curran is a Senior Lecturer at ANU’s Legal Workshop in the College of Law, teaching Practice Management, Ethics and Consumer Protection Law. Previously, Liz has worked in private practice, for legal aid and in community legal services, including as Director of the West Heidelberg Community Legal Service and as Executive Director of a human rights organisation. She holds a Doctorate from La Trobe University examining the rights of young people. Liz has published on access to justice, human rights, quality legal service and professionalism, ethics and clinical legal education and continues to engage in direct service delivery on behalf of ANU at the Consumer Action Law Centre.
Dominique Saunders  is a lawyer presently working as General Counsel for the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency. With many years’ experience in the community, public and private sectors and having originally trained as a social worker, she has particular expertise in human rights, health, mental health, disability and discrimination law. Dominique has worked for Western Health, Disability Services and Mental Health Services, the Equal Opportunity Commission of Victoria, the Mental Health Legal Centre and as principal adviser to the Nurses Board of Victoria. She has received awards for her outstanding contribution to human rights and administrative law and excellence in In-house/Government Legal Services.

Professor Euan Wallace holds the Carl Wood Chair of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Monash University. As Director of Obstetric Services for Southern Health he oversees a large team of obstetricians across three maternity units. Eaun is also Director of the Ritchie Centre, a leading research group which brings together basic scientists, medical researchers, doctors, nurses, as well as sociologists and even engineers to solve problems that perinatal medical staff face every day. In his multiple roles, Euan also sits on a number of state government committees and on committees for a number of grant funding authorities, such as NHMRC.

Dr Regina Quiazon is the Senior Research and Policy Advocate at the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health.   At MCWH since 2009, she has been responsible for various projects that advocate for improvements to immigrant and refugee women’s health and wellbeing, including the development of a women's leadership program and a human rights education project.  Her current research focuses on female international students’ access to sexual and reproductive health services.

Bashi Kumar Hazard is a mother of 3 young children who has published accounts of the circumstances leading to her successful VBAC2 (vaginal birth after 2 caesareans) and on the impact of current obstetric models of care on the emotional health and wellbeing of pregnant women.  She is a competition and consumer lawyer who graduated from the University of Sydney and worked with Allens Arthur Robinson in Sydney for several years. Bashi has written and spoken on various legal questions including legal professional privilege and ethics and is now working on establishing a legal practice to advise and represent women dealing with pregnancy and birth related issues.

Dr Karen Lane from Sociology, Deakin University is a maternity care researcher who has published on a range of issues in maternity care including:  comparative analysis of the lived experience of hospital and home birth; consumer participation; theories of risk applied to childbirth and maternity care; professional identities; comparative analysis of maternity care in Pacific island communities; comparative analysis of collaborative care models in Australia.

Beth Wilson is well known as a human rights lawyer and health advocate, especially as the Victorian Health Services Complaints Commissioner since 1997, a post from which she has just retired. Beth has received several important awards in recognition of her achievements, including the Centenary Medal for services to health (2003), an Honorary Doctorate from RMIT for contributions to health education (2004) and induction onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women for services to women’s health in Victoria (2008). Beth also advocates for work-life balance and the importance of humour, story telling and music in providing inspiration and education and in health promotion.

Tina Pettigrew brings with her a diverse range of knowledge and experiences in the maternity services arena as mother, consumer activist and midwife. Her birth activism legacy spans over two decades with a particular emphasis on challenges confronting regional and rural communities in provision of maternity services. Tina’s more recent experience as a midwifery manager and clinical midwife consultant contribute to her being a recognised and respected leader within the Australian midwifery profession. She is currently working as a caseload midwife at Western Health (Sunshine Hospital) incorporating the Victorian homebirth pilot program, with a particular focus on the provision of one-one midwifery care to CALD women and Burmese Refugees.

Clare Lane has worked as a midwife in hospital and independently. She now works as an eligible midwife with the Midwives Naturally private practice group and is currently completing requirements for prescribing rights. Clare has a long background in maternity care advocacy in Victoria. She was a founding member of the Mothers’ and Midwives’ Action Group (MAMA) in the late 1980s and closely involved with the early development of the Maternity Coalition, both of which lobbied to promote the ‘Having a Baby in Victoria’ landmark reform initiatives in the early 1990s.

Obstetrician (RANZCOG -TBA)

Consumer (TBA)

Leslie Arnott has represented the needs and the voice of the consumer through many Victorian ministerial committees and working groups, including the Maternity Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) and now the Perinatal Services Advisory Group. She was recently selected to sit on the board of Women’s and Children’s Healthcare Australasia, the peak national body for public maternity hospitals. Leslie is the acting National Chair of Childbirth Australia and draws on a wide range of experiences from her diverse connections with users and providers of maternity services.

Dr Kerreen Reiger, Symposium Convenor, has published widely on maternity services, Australian midwifery and consumer movements, including Our Bodies Our Babies: the forgotten Women’s Movement (MUP 2001) and was one of the founders of the Maternity Coalition.

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