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Parents sue over woman's home birth death


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http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/12/ ... 355778721/

KINGSVILLE, Mo., Dec. 17 (UPI) -- The parents of a Kingsville, Mo., woman who died after giving birth to a stillborn baby say their daughter received inadequate medical care, causing her death.

The wrongful-death suit was filed in 2009 by Darrell and Gail Mansfield on behalf of their daughter, Misty Mansfield, and grandchild, Sydney Mansfield, who was was stillborn, began last week in a Missouri courtroom, The Kansas City (Mo.) Star reported.

Misty Mansfield gave birth to Sydney on Dec. 6, 2006, after at least four days of labor. About a month later, Mansfield died when blood poisoning and infection reached her heart and uterus, her death certificate said.

Mansfield's parents alleged that their daughter died because her partner, Caleb Horner, prevented her from getting proper medical care after she gave birth. Horner is part of a religious sect that prohibits medical care and instead relies on God to heal.

The lawsuit also alleges that unlicensed midwives cut Misty Mansfield with dirty scissors to deliver a breech baby.

Horner, his brother John Horner, midwives Amber Leathers and Carol Balizet, and three ministries in Texas and Colorado are all listed as defendants in the suit.

Another midwife -- Wendi Nield -- on Thursday agreed to settle the case for $300,000, but denied liability, court records show

Another article says no one is facing criminal charges:

The Horners also prevented family and friends from visiting her, the lawsuit says.

A month after the birth, Mansfield died when blood poisoning and infection reached her heart and uterus, according to the death certificate. A friend told The Star in January that members of Mansfield’s group spent several hours trying to raise her from the dead.

The Jackson County prosecutor at the time investigated her death but found there was not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone had prevented Mansfield from seeking medical help.

Caleb Horner, who as a police officer was decorated for saving a person from suicide, was later fired by Lee’s Summit. He filed a lawsuit in federal court in January alleging he was terminated because of his religious beliefs, but the case has been dismissed.

Defendants include Caleb Horner, a former Lee’s Summit police officer, who assisted in the botched delivery. The lawsuit says he and Mansfield had a religious wedding ceremony but weren’t legally married, and court documents use her maiden name.

Testimony and evidence in the wrongful-death case allege that Mansfield was caught up in a religious group that prohibits medical care, instead relying on God to heal.

http://www.kansascity.com/2012/12/17/39 ... group.html

Here is the dads FB (the father of the deceased)

https://www.facebook.com/darrell.mansfield.3

Nothing there but posts offering condolences

Here is the midwife's facebook(shared with her husband), it appears her maiden name is Horner, so she is apparently related to the husband

https://www.facebook.com/mike.a.leathers

Very religious and anti abortion/liberal

Her husband runs "Christ Centered Cattle Company"

I scanned through their pics, kids are named Judah, Charity, Levi, Zion etc

Nothing about her midwifery

And it turns out the faith healer they are suing has a lot of negative posts about her on the internet

You can google her name Carol Balizet

She wrote "Birth In Zion" about childbirth. Other babies have died because she does not believe in any medical treatment.

http://www.ccgm.org.au/index.php?g=articles&a=0006

Balizet teaches against many things: banking (worldly economy); the medical system (no medicines, hospitals, doctors or nurses); secular education (with a preference for home schooling); worldly government; the religious system (including a preference for ’home churching’); science; the arts.

Her main Biblical distortions targets the medical system - often with vitriol. According to her, hospitals are full of demons; doctors are ’high priests’ of pagan religion, and surgeons cut into people as a sacrifice to their foreign gods; demons enter people following surgery and occupy the gap caused by the removal of an organ or tissue; children born through Caesarean birth are, as a result, handed over to Satan; taking medication opens a person to the spirit (or demon) of sorcery. Getting a medical diagnosis from a GP or specialist is tantamount to rejecting God’s authority and word, and trusting in the ’arm of flesh’ - it will lead to being cursed.

Balizet makes some extremely bizarre claims and diagnoses. Some examples include: ’BLINDNESS can come from…worshipping an idol…sports - the events, the team, the stars…or persons they honor, like pastors or doctors or celebrities of any sort…Worshipping idols can cause… cataracts, glaucoma, detached retina, and other vision problems.’ ’WARTS are rooted in witchcraft…The witchcraft might be inherited, or it might be active and deliberate occultic behavior.’ ’ADULTERY can result in menstrual disorders: irregular periods, painful periods, endometriosis. It can also cause bowel cancer.’ ’DIARRHEA can result from cursing others, from showing no mercy.’ ’ARTHRITIS comes from unforgiveness.’ ’NAIL BITING, especially when the cuticle and the flesh around the nail areas are also bitten, is rooted in cannibalism.’ ’HEMORRHOIDS are a judgment from God because of defiling and abusing the things of God.’ ’BREAST INFECTION or INFLAMMATION could be indicative of some "clogging-up" of ministry or other spiritual activity.’

She also claims that: morning sickness is the ’result of somebody -- usually, but not always, the mother -- rejecting the pregnancy’ ; that perineal tears ’can result from past defilements’ ; that difficult and painful labours ’can be the result of the parents not agreeing with God about the subject of discipline’, and that ’the area of childbirth is full of parallels, and we are totally convinced that comprehensive preparation in the spirit realm will result in a perfect birth.’

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There's a lot at that last link about their beliefs against birth control and how the womb is a "weapon against Satan"

The faith healers granddaughter, who had a home abortion on youtube speaks here

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/ ... eeter.html

"She had a very low cost, word-of-mouth business and it fit really well with the Quiverfull or evangelical fundamentalist lifestyle," says Jackson. "The idea of home births and self-sufficiency and total reliance on God—all of those things already had a market." With support from Word of Faith pastors and a scattering of influential fundamentalist women's organizations like the international women's group Above Rubies, Jackson watched Balizet's monthly newsletter grow to 28,000 subscribers.

Over the years, a number of families suffered from Balizet's teachings. In 2001, a 31-year-old Australian mother of five died after several weeks of severe post-childbirth hemorrhaging and swelling for which she received no medical attention. (Above Rubies' Australian director told a local TV station that the mother's trials showed she had been "seeking truth and walking in faith.") Several children died as well, including two infants in the Massachusetts Attleboro cult in 1999—their parents followed Balizet's teachings to the point of severe neglect—as well as a toddler named Harrison Johnson whom Jackson had baby-sat during a "Born in Zion" conference in her grandmother's Tampa, Fla., trailer park. In 1998, Harrison fell into a yellow-jacket nest on the grounds of the park and, after suffering 432 stings, was treated with prayer alone until he died seven hours later.

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What has happened to Carol Balizet since?

By the time our last article was published in January 2002 Carol Balizet had, apparently, already stopped writing anything new and was beginning to lose her influence. Members of her own family, who had been deeply influenced by her beliefs and teachings, began to slowly move towards more mainstream acceptance of community health, childbirth and other things Carol had taught them to reject, though some still have a preference for treating medical problems with prayer, before taking medication.

Carol was suffering from hip problems and had almost constant pain for years. She regarded the pain as part of God’s displeasure and a sign of sin or failure on her part. As pain progressed, she began to rely more and more on a walking frame. As she began to decline further in health and self-care, her family encouraged her to have a hip replacement operation, and in 2007 she underwent surgery. She was not ‘cursed’ - as a result of ‘being offered on the altar (operating table) as a sacrifice by Satan’s priests (doctors/surgeons) in their priestly robes (medical theatre garments/outfits)’. Instead, she found relief from pain and greater freedom in mobility. Quite some time prior to the 2007 hip replacement operation, Carol had suffered a stroke, while driving. Sadly, she had also begun to show mental deterioration. Following her 2007 surgery she developed complications and a severe infection, requiring further medical care, during which time it was determined that she also had Alzheimer’s. This has continued to develop and she is now being cared for in a nursing home in Denver, Colorado.

Her Home In Zion Ministries, and its website, collapsed and closed years ago. While there are still some websites, and booksellers, selling her materials, we can only hope and pray that her fading influence will die out all together.

http://www.ccgm.org.au/index.php?g=articles&a=0149

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I am a supporter of homebirth, but... wow. Not like this. I am not even sure this deserves the name homebirth. The term implies (or should imply) that the labouring woman and baby is cared for by a trained and experienced midwife, not whatever Balizet is peddling.

That poor woman.

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Wowzers. Another compelling argument for a better mental-health care system. She sounds completely off the rails.

Poor woman, poor baby, poor grandparents. What is it about lunacy that is so compelling as to suck in the innocent?

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I am both a homebirther and a christian and I just dont get it. You cannot deny the existence of things like, say, GERMS. You dont cut an umbilical cord with household scissors. I got an infection after one of my hospital births and I went straight to the doctor. You don't mess around with that sort of thing. That is pretty extreme, even the Duggars love the doctor.

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This is awful. :cry:

That said, I feel the need to question Balizet on her beliefs. I have pretty good eyesight if I shall say so, though I never had a big affinity for sports or such, except when trying to fit in middle school. However, I did have a love for one of the backstreet boys when I was young.

I had a two plantar warts when I was tenth grade that had to be removed. Guess watching Sabrine, the Teenage Witch and reading Harry Potter caused it?

I've never committed adultery, so why do I have painful cycles and endometriosis?

Or diarrhea can be caused from a illness or stress, but what do I know?

I've apparently had unforgiveness for a few years then and here I thought it was just an ailment that alerted to bad weather sometimes.

I had no idea I was a cannibal as a child and I thought it was my nerves that caused the nail biting.

So...Zsu was rejecting her pregnancies. Somebody ought to let her know (assuming she was telling the truth about her HG, which I doubt).

The people in this cult are down right dangerous and stupid.

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Really, its interesting because they found that the woman was not prevented from seeking medical care. She chose to refuse treatment and died at home. Maybe. If so, I guess that is her right, like Jehovahs witnesses to refuse blood. Surprised the midwife isn't facing some sort of practicing medicine without a license charge or something.

http://fox4kc.com/2012/12/17/mothers-be ... ional-sin/

Misty’s best friend, Tina Moore, testified that she was in the room when Misty gave birth to a stillborn daughter. Moore said she, too, believes Caleb is responsible for Misty’s death.

Moore said Caleb’s brother used scissors to perform an episiotomy. Misty later became infected with sepsis. According to Moore, Misty’s family and friends begged Caleb to take her to the doctor, but Caleb refused. Misty died 31 days later.

“Misty could not get medical treatment because Caleb would not let her,†Moore said. “It was decided among him and his family that she was going to die.â€

Misty’s parents said they were kept away from their daughter, but when they finally saw her, it was apparent that she was dying. They asked Caleb Horner to take her to the hospital, but they say he refused, calling the situation “God’s will.†Witnesses said at one point, Misty put her clothes on to go to the hospital, but was convinced that she just needed to believe in God’s healing power.

During her testimony, Moore said Caleb blamed the baby’s death on Misty’s family, calling it “generational sin†and that it was God’s way of punishing them.

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I want to say that religious brainwashing about illness and death can be very powerful. I still have it ingrained in me that "If you honor your father and mother your days on the earth will be long" as my mother would tell me all the time that any mistreatment of her would result in my DEATH. That so and so didnt treat her mother right and she got a brain tumor and died. I still think about this all the time as I am not currently on speaking terms with her and feel pretty guilty about it even though I have no actual desire to speak to her.

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Four days of labor and a month before she died? She must have been in incredible pain, and extremely ill. To say that nobody prevented her from getting medical treatment is ridiculous. A woman who has been laboring for four days may not have the presence of mind to call a taxi to take her to the hospital. She may not have the presence of mind to know that she should go to the hospital, but her husband and midwife should have. Pure negligence to let her labor that long with a breech baby. And a month before the infection killed her?

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Wow, that poor family. I guessed the "midwife" was a quack when I got to the part in the article about her allowing the mother to labor for four freaking days. I know the mother likely was not in pushing for four days, but is a four day labor ever safe without medical supervision/intervention?

And to the "midwife," way to give home birth a bad name.

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I get the impression that she isn't a midwife at all, just someone from their church who had her own unassisted homebirths, so that must make her an expert.

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I get the impression that she isn't a midwife at all, just someone from their church who had her own unassisted homebirths, so that must make her an expert.

Yeah, that's why I used the sarcastic air quotes around midwife.

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I am a supporter of homebirth, but... wow. Not like this. I am not even sure this deserves the name homebirth. The term implies (or should imply) that the labouring woman and baby is cared for by a trained and experienced midwife, not whatever Balizet is peddling.

That poor woman.

Agreed, I support home birth if its done right with a licensed midwife. Also need to make sure you are within reasonable distance from an ER just in case things go wrong.

I cant believe that the women was forced to be in labor for 4 days! I hope her husband and the lay midwife are held responsible for their decisions.

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I remember this case, I think. If so, he called her parents to come and see her during the labour and they begged her to let them take her to the hospital and she wouldn't go. She told them she had to submit to him.

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I feel so bad for the parents in this case. What a SAD situcation, I would love to know now their daughter got involved with a person like him. It seems from the link to her father's facebook page that they were not a religious family.

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I thought that the name was familiar! Carol Balizet (Angie the Anti-theist's grandmother) apparently ran a successful mail-order cult for several years. I hope she gets jail time for this if nothing else, if only to limit her influence on future generations!

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Carol Balizet and Zion birth was one of the first things I read about when I initially dipped my toe into the pool of fundie crazy. I was horrified, couldn't imagine how people could buy into this bullshit and thought it couldn't possibly get much worse. How wrong I was...

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No criminal charges? Why the hell not? This woman labored for 4 days, delivered a stillborn baby, suffered for a month before dying, and nobody sought real medical attention? If that isn't criminal, I don't know what is! :angry-cussingblack: :angry-screaming:

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A Jackson County jury awarded $108.6 million Friday to the parents of a Lee’s Summit woman who died in 2007 of infection after enduring weeks of no medical care following the home birth of a stillborn daughter.

http://www.theolathenews.com/2012/12/21 ... -lees.html

Christina Moore, who described herself as Misty Mansfield’s best friend, said the jury’s decision represented “some type of justice,†but added: “It wasn’t real justice.

“Hopefully it will prevent them from doing this to other people.â€

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So glad that they won the case, I highly doubt they will get even of a dime of what was awarded to them.

I can't believe her husband was a cop.

Wanted to ad this: I went to her father's facebook page, and I was scrolling down and saw a many messages on his page congratulating them on winning the case!!

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There's a lot at that last link about their beliefs against birth control and how the womb is a "weapon against Satan"

The faith healers granddaughter, who had a home abortion on youtube speaks here

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/ ... eeter.html

OMFG!! That poor toddler! I once got about 36 stings and hurt like hell for a while. I cannot imagine the agony that child must have been in.

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