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Malpractice: A Professional Risk


  • Deborah Woolley Perlis S.N.M., M.S.N.,

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    • Ms. Periis holds a B.S.N. and an M.S.N. both from the University of Texas at Austin. She is currently a Pmctitioner/Teacher in the department of Obstettical and Gynecological Nursing at Rush-Presbyterian—St. Luke's Medical Center. She is a student nurse-midwife at the Uniuersity of Illinois at Chicago and is enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Science Program at Rush University.

  • Mary C. Brucker C.N.M., M.S.N.

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    • Ms. Brucker received a Baccalaureate and Master's degree in Nursing from St. Louis University. She completed her nurse-midwifery education at the University of Mississippi and is certified by the ACNM. She is currently enrolled in the Doctoral Progmm in Nursing at Rush University.

Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, College of Nursing, 301 Schweppe-Sprague Hall, 1743 West Harrison, Chicago, IL 60612.


Increasing professional independence carries with it increasing legal responsibility, as evidenced by the growing number of malpractice suits involving nurse-midwives. This paper reviews the historical factors that contributed to the current legal status of nurse-midwives; explains the basic tenets of malpractice law; and offers suggestions toward minimizing the nurse-midwife's risk from malpractice suits.