Belgium 2013

  • 195 A. Ruzettelaan Blankenberge, Vlaanderen, 8370 Belgium

In November 2013, HRiC convened consumers, birth professionals, and lawyers in Blankenberg, Belgium, from countries across Europe, who are engaged in lawsuits that evoke the 2010 case of Ternovszky v. Hungary. Conference participants worked toward the creation of a road map for political action capable of making human rights a reality for birthing women everywhere.

 

This event occurred the day following the Midwifery Today Conference in Blankenberge, Belgium. It was not necessary to register for the full Midwifery Today conference to register for the 1-day November 4 Conference.

 

In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights declared that women have a human right to choose the circumstances in which they give birth. This event will explore the implications of that ruling for birth systems across Europe, and the spectrum of legal actions that have evoked their human rights in nations from the west to the east.

HRiC will convene consumers, birth professionals, & lawyers, from countries across Europe, who are engaged in lawsuits that evoke the 2010 case of Ternovszky v. Hungary. Conference participants will work toward the creation of a road map for political action capable of making human rights a reality for birthing women everywhere.


Program

8:30 Opening
  • Jan Tritten: Welcome from Midwifery Today
  • Hermine Hayes-Klein: Welcome from Human Rights in Childbirth
  • Key note speeches:
    • Chantal Gill’ard: Fundamental Human Rights and Political Activism: from Self to Local to Global
    • Elizabeth Prochaska: Making Ternovszky Rights a Reality Across Europe
9:30 Panel: Ternovszky Defense
In the Ternovszky decision, the ECHR held that European states violate the rights of birthing women when they sanction birth professionals for supporting women in their birth choices/rights. This panel will consist of four midwives, from different European nations, who have faced legal sanction in association with out-of-hospital birth services. Each midwife will appear with her lawyer. Panelists will describe the individual and national circumstances giving rise to their case, and how the Ternovszky holding has been incorporated into the defense.
  • Moderator: Ernst van Bemmelen van Gent
  • Czech Republic v. Stremerova
    • Zuzana Stremerova
    • Zuzana Candigliota
  • Nursing and Midwifery Counsel v. Reed (England)
    • Rebecca Reed
    • Elizabeth Prochaska
  • Greece v. Avramidou
    • Irene Avramidou
    • Electra Koudra
  • Nursing and Midwifery Board v. Ann Ó Ceallaigh (Ann Kelly)
    • Ann Kelly
  • Inspectie voor GezondheidsZorg v. Visser (Netherlands)
    • Rebekka Visser
10:30 Break
11:00 Panel 2: Economics & Ethics
The implementation of the Ternovszky holding has the potential to cause a paradigm shift in maternity care systems across Europe. This panel will speak to the economic, financial, and ethical implications of the Ternovszky holding and of debates about women’s rights in childbirth. Speakers will unpack the financials of current obstetric maternity systems, assess the monopoly and antitrust issues underlying the relationship between midwifery and medicine, and illuminate the ethical assumptions at play in debates around safety, authority, and autonomy in childbirth.
  • Moderator: Simone Valk
  • Mylène Botbol-Baum, Philosopher and Bioethicist, France
  • Jacob Hofdijk, Economist, Netherlands
  • Kenneth Johnson, Epidemiologist, Canada<
  • Elselijn Kingma, Philosopher and Bioethicist, UK and Netherlands
12:00 Panel: Ternovszky Offense
This panel will consist of mothers from across Europe who have brought lawsuits because their nation is failing to recognize and support their autonomy and authority in childbirth. Four mothers from different European nations will appear with their lawyers and describe the suits that they have brought, before both national courts and the ECHR, to claim rights ranging from the right to refuse an episiotomy, to the right to give birth in a birth center, to the right to give birth at home after a previous cesarean section. Each mother will describe her nation’s birth system and her personal motivation for bringing legal action. Lawyers will describe the incorporation of the Ternovszky holding into the complaint, and responses that these arguments have received.
  • Moderators: Anna Ternovszky and Stefania Kapronczay
  • Dubska v. Czech Republic
  • Sarka Dubska
  • Zuzana Candigliota
  • Orfanidou and others v. Greece
  • Nathalia Partheniou
  • Electra Koudra
  • Teehan v. HSE and the Minister for Health (Ireland)
  • Aja Teehan
  • Rhuadhan MacAodhain
  • Torrisi v. Italy
  • Daniela Torrisi
1:00 Lunch
2:30 Round-Tables:
These sessions will consist of hour-long small group discussions of 10-12 people. Each round table discussion will be led by an expert with experience and insight into the issue at stake. Introduction by Joyce Pula
  • “Creating the Option for Physiological Breech Delivery”: Betty-Anne Daviss (Canada)
  • “How do you work to activate people?”: Daniela Drandic (Croatia)
  • “HRiC in Latin American Maternity Care”: Dr. Ricardo Herbert Jones and Aischa Schut
  • “HRiC in Developing African Maternity Systems”: Jamilla Abdulle
  • “Bringing Maternity System Stakeholders to the Table for Dialogue: Lessons from the Netherlands”: Joyce Hoek-Pula & Ernst van Bemmelen
  • “Eastern Europe Strategy Session”: Donal Kerry (Hungary)
  • “AIMS Ireland: Developments in Irish Birth Activism” Barbara Western & Krysia Byrne
  • “Raising Consumer Awareness About Legal Rights in Childbirth” Nadège Alexandre & Krista Dekens (Belgium)
  • “How to make a European campaign against obstetric violence” Jesusa Ricoy-Olariaga (Spain)
  • “The Effect of Liability Insurance on Midwifery” Christine Demeyer (Belgium)
  • “Feminism and Birth Activism” Paola Hidalgo (Ecuador)
  • “HRiC in the Developing World” Robbie Davis-Floyd and Debra Pascali-Bonaro (USA)
  • “The Right to Oxytocin” – Kerstin Uvnas-Moberg (Sweden)
  • “Change Starts Within: Birth Into Being” Willow Proctor (Germany)
4:30 Break
4:50 Plenary Session
5:45 Closing Session

Speakers


Partners

This conference convened lawyers, consumer activists, and maternity care providers from across Europe to discuss current legal actions regarding the rights of birthing women. National activist groups sent delegates to meet with those working on similar issues in other countries. Midwives, doulas, and mothers shared stories behind the legal actions that they had brought or defended regarding the rights of birthing women to informed consent and refusal, and to choose the circumstances of childbirth.

The conference was a platform and inspiration for attendees determined to move forward and improve maternity care for all women. The day served to create and reinforce alliances between birth activists across Europe and around the world. Attendees met the people behind their social media connections, and came away with a renewed drive to work together toward change. The day gave rise to numerous ongoing coalitions and plans, as well as furthering an understanding of what is needed for local and international Human Rights in Childbirth networks.

Plenary Talks were given by Jan Tritten (USA) of Midwifery Today, Katerina Perkhova (Russia) of Domashniya Rebenok (Home Child) Magazine, and Hermine Hayes-Klein (USA) of HRiC.

Panel One: Ternovszky Defense

This panel consisted of birth professionals, from different European nations, facing legal sanction for supporting women in out-of-hospital childbirth. Five midwives and one doula described their legal experience in terms of the European Court of Human Rights’ observation, in Ternovszky v. Hungary, that the reproductive right to give birth at home with a midwife is not meaningful if midwives cannot attend home births without fear of legal consequences for doing so.

Click here to read more about the panelists who participated in this discussion.

Panel Two: Economics and Ethics

This panel discussed the economic, financial, and ethical implications women’s rights in childbirth for maternity care systems. Speakers brought a range of disciplinary perspectives to illuminate bioethical assumptions underlying debates and legal actions.

Click here to read more about the panelists who participated in this discussion.

Panel Three: Ternovszky Offense

Click here to read more about the panelists who participated in this discussion.

Round Tables

  • “Eastern Europe Strategy Session” – Donal Kerry (Hungary)
  • “Creating the Option for Physiological Breech Delivery” – Betty-Anne Daviss (Canada)
  • “Human Rights in Medical Education” – Dr. Amali Lokugamage (UK) and Dr. Nicholas Rubashkin (USA)
  • “Human Rights in Developing African Maternity Systems” – Jamilla Abdulle (Netherlands and Somalia) and Linda Odhiambo (Kenya)
  • “Bringing Maternity System Stakeholders to the Table for Dialogue: Lessons from the
  • Netherlands” – Claudia van Dijk and Joke Klinkert (Netherlands)
  • “Raising Consumer Awareness About Legal Rights in Childbirth” – Nadège Alexandre and Krista Dekens (Belgium)
  • “The Right to Oxytocin” – Kerstin Uvnas-Moberg (Sweden)
  • “Economics and Financial Incentives in Maternity Care” – Jacob Hofdijk and Marian van Huis (Netherlands)
  • “Human Rights in Latin American Maternity Care” – Dr. Ricardo Herbert Jones (Brazil) and Aischa Schut (Netherlands)
  • “Campaigning Against Obstetric Violence” – Jesusa Ricoy-Olariaga (Spain and UK)
  • “Feminism and Birth Activism” – Paola Hidalgo (Equador and Belgium)
  • “Human Rights in Childbirth: a Cross-Cultural Perspective” – Robbie Davis-Floyd and Debra Pascali-Bonaro (USA)
  • “Change Starts Within: Birth Into Being” – Willow Proctor (Germany)
  • “The Effect of Liability Insurance on Midwifery” – Christine Demeyer and Amanda Garside
  • “The Spectrum of Strategic Advocacy: Discussing Ways Lawyers and Activists Can Partner for Change” – Indra Lusero and Cristen Pascucci (USA)

Summary

Lodging

Limited rooms are available at the venue.

Price:

€60.00 per person per day, includes breakfast, hot lunch, cold dinner and overnight stay. Each room has a private bathroom with shower, washbasin and toilet. Cleaning service is not included; sheets and towels are changed weekly. There is an additional fee of €5.00 to have your bed made on arrival. Rooms and studios are available from 3:30 pm and check-out time is 9:30 am.

Booking:

You must mention that you are part of the Human Rights in Childbirth group when you book in order to get this price. Duinse Polders will send you the invoice within 14 days. You may book using the phone number or address below.

Venue:

Duinse Polders

Phone: +32 (050) 43 24 00

Address: Ruzettelaan 195

B-8370 Blankenberge

Belgium

info@duinsepolders.be

http://www.duinsepolders.be/nl/info/index.asp

Registration:

You can register for this event by using the form below. Send your questions to conference@humanrightsinchildbirth.org

Registration is now closed

Which payment method do you prefer?

Other hotels in Blanckenberge

Moeder Lambic

Jules de Troozlaan 93,

Blankenberge 8370, Belgium

76 Euros a night

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Hotel Avenue

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Eurohotel

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Hotel Malecot

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Hotel Vivaldi

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71 Euros a night

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How to reach Blankenberge

By air (http://www.brusselsairport.be/):

Belgium has one international airport (Brussels International Airport) and four regional airports (Antwerp-Deurne, Charleroi-Gosselies, Liège-Bierset and Ostend-Middelkerke).

A train from Brussels International Airport to Blankenberge will be far less expensive than a taxi. The distance is approximately 120 km.

After arrival in Blankenberge, you can take the coast tram, following directions to Knokke. The tram is 1–2 km from the station.

By train (http://www.b-rail.be/main):

The ride from Brussels Airport (Zaventem) to Blankenberge lasts about 1.46 hour but you need to transfer in Brussels Midi. A one-way ticket (from Zaventem to Blankenberge) costs €14.

To reach Brussels Midi: From 6:00 am until nearly midnight, the Airport City Express links the airport with Brussels Midi (less than 20 minutes) four times per hour. The train station is located in the basement (Level -1) of the terminal building itself. Timetable information for the Airport City Express is available on the Belgian Railways (SNCB/NMBS) website; enter Zaventem Airport as the departure or destination station. International trains, including Thalys (Paris, Amsterdam and Köln) and urostar (London, Lille) bring you to Brussels Midi, where the same transfer is necessary. The train ride from Brussels Midi to Blankenberge takes approximately one hour and 13 minutes. This train leaves Brussels for Knokke-Blankenberge. In Bruges the train is separated into two parts: the front part goes to Knokke and the last carriages to Blankenberge. So, you need to sit in the last carriages. If any doubt, ask the ticket inspector.<

By coast tram (http://www.delijn.be/):

With the coast tram you can travel along the entire Belgian coast, from De Panne to Knokke. There is a tram every 20 minutes. The price depends on the number of “zones” you need to cross: one zone = €1; for one additional crossed zone = €0.40; maximum price = €3 (one-way ticket). You may also purchase “there and back” (round trip) tickets, to use on the same day.

By car:

Belgium has a highly developed motorway network, the densest in the world. High-capacity motorways are centered around Brussels or cut across the country. The motorways are supported by a network of expressways. Most of the motorways are part of European routes.

Some tips:

Avoid Antwerpen, as the traffic may be jammed due to road maintenance.

Use the A10-E40, following directions to Gent, Oostende, but leave the motorway at the traffic interchange

Brugge, exit 8, and follow the N31/E403 express way, following directions to Blankenberge. Be careful as there are speed limits.

A city map can be found here: www.blankenberge.be/02/stratenplan.pdf

Duinse Polders has a free large private parking lot. However, please be aware that the closer you come to the sea, the more vehicles are banned from the streets. Moreover there are many one-way streets. Parking meters must be used on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 9 am until 7 pm (€1 / h). During the week parking is free.

April 2
Eugene 2013
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