If You Give a Mouse a Cookie …
… He’ll ask for a bakery license from the state.
The trend toward occupational licensure seems to be hard to resist, even for mavericks like mice … or midwives. Midwives in North Carolina, where practicing tocology is currently a misdemeanor, are asking the state to license them:
“If there was licensure in place, there would be more midwives trained here, and there would be a selection. No one’s going to move to a state that’s not friendly to midwives,” said Kreutzer, a member of the North Carolina Friends of Midwives.
It looks like North Carolina could be the next state to legalize midwifery, which would be great for the midwives who want to work there and patients who’d like to choose this option. But “friendly” and “legal” doesn’t have to mean “licensed by the state.” I hope North Carolina will follow MIssouri’s lead and allow a private organization to certify the midwives. In fact, the ideal scenario would be several licensing organizations competing with each other.
If the North Carolina midwives want to increase their numbers, they should avoid state licensing. That tends to keep people out of the profession by creating lots of bureaucratic hurdles to jump over. It won’t bring new people in. (You don’t see geologists flocking to Missouri to be licensed here, do you?)