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Penn Yan midwife reaches plea agreement in 2018 case

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article stated the negligent homicide charge levied against Elizabeth Catlin stemmed from the death of a woman in her care. In actuality, in 2018, a laboring woman in Catlin’s care was transported to F.F. Thompson, where the woman gave birth to a baby that died en route to Strong Memorial. The article has been updated to correct this error. 


A Penn Yan midwife who served the local Mennonite community has agreed to plead guilty to a single count of unauthorized practice of a profession.

The Messenger Post reports Elizabeth Catlin, 56, was sentenced Monday to five years probation and credit for one day she spent in jail, plus 250 hours of community service.

Catlin faced a negligent homicide charge as part of a 95-count indictment after a woman in her care was transported to F.F. Thomspon Hospital in Canandaigua in 2018. The woman gave birth to a baby there, but the child died on the way to Strong Memorial Hospital.

Catlin is a certified professional midwife. 30 states recognize that certification, but in New York, one must have a different certification that requires a graduate degree.

Related: Midwife from Yates County rejects plea deal, as she faces nearly 100 felony charges

Catlin’s attorney, Michael Sussman, called the charges against Catlin “baseless” and noted that the family of the baby who died did not blame her and did want to see her prosecuted. Mennonites in the area rallied to Catlin’s defense and the case made national headlines.