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Can At-term Pregnant women be denied medical decisions?

Health Care 2009 Pregnancy

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#1 sierraleone


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Posted 06 March 2009 - 12:46 PM

Or rather, to be precise, that should probably be labouring women... Of course, its very rare, most women follow the recommendations of doctors.

I came across some three stories on one website and looked around some more to see what info I could find.
I'm wondering whether what side people fall on. Its not an abortion issue, so I'd imagine it doesn't fall necessarily under the pro-life/pro-choice divide.

Angela Carder actually has a wikipedia article as her situation seems to have become part of case law. There is also an old New York Times article on it:

She had cancer at ages thirteen & twenty-three. In 1987, at age twenty-seven, while 25 weeks pregnant, her cancer was discovered to have come back. The hospital got a court hearing, and a lawyer for Angela, the fetus & the hospital. Angela was too weak to actually attend court. Her family argued that they opposed a c-section as Angela was unlikely to survive it, her treating physicians opposed it for the same reasons. A neonatologist said the fetus would have approximately 60% chance of survival. An order was issues to perform it... Obstetricians there actually initially refused, one reluctantly performed it. Both mother and child were dead within 2 days.

Then there is Laura Pemberton in 1994. Apparently she sued the hospital afterwards, and heres info on that:
She was pressured into a c-section with her first child, and when pregnant with her second child she was not seemingly given the option of a vaginal birth at any local hospital. So she arranged to have a mid-wife and a home birth. She had been at the hospital at one part of labour. When she refused to submit to a c-section, and went home. A judge had concurred with the hospital and a sheriff was sent to her home to drag her back to the hospital and have a c-section. She apparently gave birth vaginally with subsequent pregnancies.

One story was about a Amber and John Marlowe. Found info in various places before landing here:
It was in 2004, and it seems the original article is no longer on the news site it originated from, though it seems to have been quoted (hopefully accurately) in the above mentioned website.

In 2004 Amber was pregnant and in labour with their 7th child. The ultrasound tech estimated the baby to be 13 pounds and suggested a c-section. This women has given birth to many babies, including some heavy ones, and she said no. They spend some time trying to convince her, told her her life & the child's was at risk if she didn't.... Amber, against doctor's orders, left the hospital. The hospital got a judge to grant them fetus guardianship and ability to force a c-section, if Amber returned.

The hospital said the patient refused c-section due to religious beliefs, Amber and John says that was made up, a lie.

She later gave birth vaginally to that baby, it was about 11 pounds.

Was the first woman and baby (who both died) just unlucky? Where the other two lucky? Should these scenarios be likened to the case where states have intervened in a child's medical care when parents object to certain procedures and such due to religious (or other non-medical) reasons? In what cases should a court interfere, if any? If a woman says no to a c-section, and the hospital respects that as while things aren't perfect they aren't dire yet either.... What if they do suddenly go dire?

Edited by sierraleone, 06 March 2009 - 12:46 PM.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

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