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Name: People v. McCall
Case #: B236269
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 03/20/2013

The Midwifery Act does not shield a midwife, licensed or unlicensed, from prosecution for uncertified practice of medicine. Appellant, a unlicensed student midwife, provided prenatal care for Ms. T. and delivered the baby but encountered emergency circumstances during the delivery. At no time was she supervised by a licensed midwife, physician, or surgeon. There was conflicting testimony as to whether various acts she performed constituted the practice of medicine. She was prosecuted and convicted for a felony under the general statute, Business and Professions Code sections 2051 and 2052 [a person who engages in specified acts without a physicians and surgeon’s certificate is guilty of a felony or a misdemeanor]. The court rejected her contention that she was subject only to misdemeanor prosecution under the specific statute, the Midwifery Act, Business and Professions Code section 2514. Under the Williamson rule (In re Williamson (1954) 43 Cal.2d 651), where the general statute, standing alone, would include the same matter as the special act, the special act is considered as an exception to or qualification of the general act and prosecution will be under the special act. Here, however, the general and special statutes do not overlap and none of the elements of the general statute correspond to the special statute. Although appellant may have violated the Midwifery Act by performing midwife services without the required supervision, she did more than that, and her conduct constituted practicing medicine without certification, a felony violation of the general statute. Even a licensed midwife is not authorized to practice medicine. (Bus. & Prof. Code, sec. 2507, subd. (e).)