(This article is also available in Hungarian. A cikk magyar változatáért kattints ide: Szabadságot Geréb Ágnesnek!)
A few days ago the outrageous news reached also to the south of Spain: Ágnes Geréb has to go for two years to prison.
She is the leading figure of homebirth in Hungary. As a psychologist, obstetrician and gynecologist she worked all her life on making birth a beautiful experience and helped 3500 babies to come to this world in a loving and caring surrounding.
But like all of us, she also did mistakes. From the 3500 babies two died. One is member of a twin couple, who did not get enough oxygen for 12 minutes, got permanent brain damage and died with six monthes. Another baby’s shoulder got stuck by birth. Although Ágnes tried everything, she could not safe the baby’s life.
The court case of Ágnes started in 2010. Since that she spent years in house arrest, was not allowed to leave the country and had to go countless times to court. Now the final judgment was made: two years prison.
We find this judgment too strict and questionable for many reasons.
First of all, the average infant mortality rate in Hungary is 4,5 death per 1000 live birth. The rate of Ágnes never even got close to this number. Not talking about that in most of these cases there is no investigation and nobody is made responsible.
Lot of times we heard the argument, that when Ágnes was practicing, homebirth was illegal in Hungary. It is not true. Think about, how can a free choice of a mother be illegal and how can a birth be illegal. Homebirth was just not regulated, means that the professionals that are present at the homebirth are not protected by law.
Let us put in parallel to the case of Ágnes the court case of another doctor in Hungary, János Udvary. He is an oncologist, who was intentionally misdiagnosing his patients in order to get more money, who was blackmailing them and asked money for examinations that were covered by health insurance, who was sending away a retired woman in critical health state, misdiagnosed her tumor free because she could not pay him. So he is a bastard, motivated by only financial reasons and absolutely not caring about the health and well-being of his patients. He got for all of his crimes two years suspended prison and can still practice his profession.
We find this decision incredible compared to the judgment that they made in the case of Ágnes. It gives us the feeling that the whole case is not about justice or making the life of Hungarian people better, but there is another interest behind. Maybe the interest of pharmacy industry or of doctors who earn millions of euros with hospital birth. How can it serve the interest of society to put into prison a person that works all her life for providing a humane, safe and beautiful birth for women and never acted out of financial interest.
Stand up and stop this witch hunt! Give freedom, peace and appreciation to those who want to make this world a more beautiful and more happy place! Free Ágnes Geréb!