Thursday, November 5, 2015

Trial Commencing in Coerced C-Section Case

RH Reality Check (Nov. 4, 2015): Coerced C-Sections: The Latest Reach of Fetus First Laws, by Jessica Mason Pieklo:

Michelle Mitchell is suing her doctor for assault and battery alleging that she was coerced into having a c-section.  The case is scheduled to go to trial in Augusta Circuit Court Nov. 4.  Jessica Mason Pieklo writes:

According to court documents, Mitchell claims that once she was admitted to the hospital, [her doctor] demanded she have a c-section based on an ultrasound image performed a week earlier . . .  and concerns over the baby’s size. Mitchell says that her previous doctor had recommended an induction of labor or c-section, but gave her no indication that vaginal birth was medically not an option or that a c-section was required.

Mitchell says that she signed a document refusing consent for the c-section, and that over the next four hours, [the doctor] and other employees of the hospital threatened her in various ways, including calling Child Protective Services to take her expected child away should she fail to consent. According to the complaint, after hours of this treatment, Mitchell relented.

The doctor has argued that Mitchell changed her mind after signing the signed refusal and consented to the surgery.  Pieklo notes that the number of c-section births have grown in this country making the question of patient autonomy increasingly important.

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