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    Self-proclaimed Druid in prison after newborn dies

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    Public domain

    A 61-year-old man from Sevry-Rance in Hainaut province is in custody in Brussels, accused of criminal negligence in the case of a baby born after a delivery lasting three days. The baby died the day after being born. The man, named only as Jean-Claude V., is thought to be a registered midwife (the same name is used in English as for the much more common female midwife). He also is known in his part of the country as someone with Druidic beliefs, and a proponent of “natural childbirth”.

    In the case of the Anderlecht woman, however, he set up for her to deliver at home, despite the fact that she had already given birth before by C-section. In such cases, medical professionals will advise a hospital delivery.

    Then began a delivery which would last three days, the mother often suffering with no pain relief, while V was frequently absent without explanation. The child was eventually delivered, by which time he was, like his mother, in a critical medical condition. Both were transported to hospital, where the baby died the following day. The mother recovered.

    The incident took place in August last year, and the baby’s parents filed a complaint in March this year. An investigating magistrate ordered him to be kept in custody on suspicion of allowing the woman to give birth at home, and of failing to act when the woman’s waters broke and were seen to contain meconium – the first faecal matter produced by a newborn, not normally produced inside the womb.

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times