American medical literature for more than the last decade has intermittently directed attention to the inadequacy of our laws governing midwives, which contain neither uniform provisions nor required standards. With the exception of the activities in a few cities, this situation has been allowed to drift along without regard for consequences.
The part played by faulty obstetric practice as a causative factor in high infant mortality at birth and during early infancy has for a number of years been emphasized constantly in all the efforts to reduce infant mortality. Largely as a result of this emphasis, the midwife situation has been brought to our attention in the light of a problem of national responsibility. Statutory recognition of the midwife has existed in some states for many years, but recently the active interest in child hygiene has caused legislative bodies to pass many new regulations or to amend old ones, so