The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

10 June 2011

Legal thugs, wasting your (tax) money: FDA seizes entrepeneur's portable hot tubs

My wife is doctor-phobic and needle-phobic.  While we are conservative both socially and religiously, we ended up with a very "earthy-crunchy" solution for each of my three kid's births.  

My oldest was born in a freestanding birthing center (5 minutes from a hospital).  After I talked myself into a comfort level with the idea, our two girls were born at home.  My wife was attended by a midwife (who has OB backup), and a doula.  We used portable 5 foot diameter heated (96 degrees) birthing tubs we rented from  The woman who runs the organization, Barbara Harper, became friendly with my wife during that time, and they still keep in touch.  Recently, Barbara posted the following on her facebook page.

FDA seizes portabale Birth Pools

by Barbara Harper on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 9:20pm
Okay, here is a big problem that has been lurking for a few months. The FDA has seized all the portable birth pools that are currently imported and are threatening to destroy them. They claim they are unregistered medical equipment, but they are not providing a way or means to get them registered. In other words, if the medical authorities can't stop waterbirth, then just have the FDA take away the birth pools. This IS SERIOUS my dear ones!!! VERY SERIOUS!!!

I'll write more very soon. But, put on your thinking caps. Yes, lawyers and business advisors are involved. My first run in with the FDA was in 2000.

Just think, they might knock on your door and seize your bath tub!!!


In this case, I hope all's well that ends well:


FDA releases tubs, but needs further assistance with education

by Barbara Harper on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 2:59pm
This just in from Waterbirth Solutions......

The FDA called to notify me that they were releasing our Aquaborn inventory that has been on "Retention" for two months, as well as all future inflatable birth pools.

At this time, they are still reviewing birth pools, but they are NOT classifying them as Medical Devices.

The vendors involved were fully prepared to argue strenuously against Medical Device classification and at this time it appears this does not need to be done.  Basic argument is that we are selling a vessel and that the WATER is what provides the benefit to the woman.

They asked me for information about how to collect data from the vendors involved to further their understanding of waterbirth.  I suggested they contact ACNM, MANA etc., professional organizations.  I said the natural birth community would be happy to engage in a fact-based, open discussion about waterbirth.  I suggested that all views be considered as long as they had data to back up their claim.  As in, ACOG has no data to support their position on waterbirth.

This is fantastic news and I wanted to share it asap!
Thanks goes to everyone that offered to help during this tense time.


As I was considering writing this post, I came across an article from Harvard Law School from 2002, written in regard to the power of the Food and Drug Administration's power to confiscate.  

It concludes thus:

V. Conclusion
The system may be described as bent but not broken. The seizure power is not wielded constantly, although it may dangle over the heads of some owners like the sword of Damocles. Although the system functions adequately, it could be made to work better. The issuing of warrants on less than probable cause, coupled with post-seizure hearings and a limited right of recompense, although all small potatoes in their own right, together can amount to a genuine burden on the affected property owner 

Seizure is a weapon: “Some litigators believe that if there is an advantage to be taken, it should be taken. Whatever the propriety of that view in ordinary civil litigation between private parties, it is to be hoped that governmental agencies such as the FDA would take a different approach.”221    

It would not tax FDA or judicial resources too greatly to consider the rights of the wrongly accused owner, or the potentially wrongly accused, a little more carefully. --link

(emphasis added)

My point in posting what you might consider a minor matter:
The arbitrary and brutal nature of government is power; power asserted.   

Sometimes government force is wielded against genuine criminals, sometimes it is wielded against the innocent.

Sometimes against "criminals" that commit no actual crime against persons or their property, but have violated a law passed to assert government control over an industry--such is the case here.  

In Barbara's case, she is a private individual, an entrepeneur, and a passionate woman who's goal is to make a woman's birth process wonderful and memorable.  

Because the birthing pools were held for two months, Mrs. Harper lost the income of the rentals, and lost income in hiring attorneys, not being able to focus on her clients, etc.,.  

Why did she lose all of this time and money?  

Over bullsh*t arbitrary rules that are meant to assert control, not to protect the public.  In other words, this is good example of a betrayal of the mandate of the law--to protect people's lives and their property.  That is the only reason to have a government.

   This incident shows government for what it actually is:  the guys with the most guns, "a gang of thieves writ large", the largest protection racket around, you get the point.  Protecting the public interest has become (or has always been, what do I really know?) the window dressing to legitimize their existence, not the reality on the ground.

Here is your tax money at work:  the FDA spends the man-hours paying their agents to investigate, raid, confiscate and store portable HOT TUBS, alleging that they are unregistered "medical devices".

The FDA agent in charge of this effort either is stupid or disingenuous...either way, not good for us, the public.  

Either he doesn't know a lick about giving natural childbirth in a pool of warm water (can also be done in a hot spring or an oversize bathtub;  is a hot spring an unregistered medical device?  It is the buoyancy of the water and the warmth of the water that takes the edge off of labor, not the tub), or is trying to extort money from this business owner, is trying to crush her business in particular, or is part of an ongoing and broad organized medicine/government collusion against non-physician medical practitioners (e.g. midwives).

So here it is again: (By definition -- Legal) thuggery and theft of private property on a small scale.

If they can do it using the FDA to Barbara Harper, what will stop them from doing it to you or your employer under some other agency or pretext?  How much of your tax money is wasted in this manner?

It was supposed to be the Bill of Rights and Constitutional limits on governmental power to protect us, but less and less and less since the sad conclusion of the War of Northern Aggression.

1 comment:

  1. What a stuff of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious know-how on the topic of unexpected emotions.

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