Woman Settles Suit After Newborn Seized Over Drug Test Failure

Discussion in 'Civil Rights & Privacy' started by nachtnebel, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    From BusinessInsider:


    The hospital used a threshold that was four times lower than the standards called for, and called child protective services, which didn't catch their mistake either. The mother had eaten a poppyseed bagel, which is known to cause false readings at the thresholds used by the hospital.

    Both guilty parties pungled up $143K to the mother for stealing her child for 5 days. Pure stupidity.



     
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  2. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    Someone should be in jail over this. Several someones.
     
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Did she authorize the drug test? How much did they gouge her insurer for the unauthorized test?

    Since this is a county hospital, these are government actors, so I would think this could also be construed as an illegal search without warrant or probable cause.
     
  4. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    I have to agree with you about the relevance of the questions "Did she authorize and pay for this test?"

    There should be informed consent, and I don't believe she should have to pay for it, no matter what.

    The lady is being searched and her property is being seized, (4th amendment) particularly if she's forced to pay for the test. Then there's her 5th amendment rights. She's being manipulated into forgoing her 5th amendment rights without ever getting a chance to choose. "Pee into this bottle." are words pregnant ladies hear constantly. I always complied, because I trusted my doctors. Was I wrong to do so?

    The lady's rights are being trampled on so many fronts, and so is this infant's. The kidnapping of the child at birth from his/her mother tramples the child's right to freedom of intimate association. This is a liberty so fundamental that it boggles the imagination that state thugs would so casually strip a child and mother of their first 5 days together. Haven't these inhumane cretins heard of attachment theory?

    What worries me most about state authorities kidnapping infants from maternity wards is that women who should be giving birth in hospitals may elect home birth. Home birth is fine for most women, but it's not the best thing for everyone. I'm afraid women and children will die because families are afraid of CPS, and I don't think my fears are all that far-fetched.
     
  5. This is all most likely based on a blanket consent form ("I consent to whatever the doctor thinks is best for me"), which is the thing that allows way too many women to be railroaded into C-sections, unnecessary episiotomies, and all sorts of gross and unnecessary procedures. It also allows them to pad your bill with all sorts of extra services women don't even realize they're being given -- my homebirths cost 2-3 thousand dollars including all the prenatal stuff, while if I understand it, a bare bones vaginal hospital birth runs more like 10-15 grand. You have to really know what you're doing to challenge the consent form, and then many hospitals consider you a problem patient who needs to be shown who's boss. It was reading about this stuff that sent me to homebirth -- I'm lucky I was a good candidate for it.

    The Business of Being Born is an excellent film about all of this. Hospitals are really no place to have a baby. I'm not saying there aren't women who crucially need medical intervention, just that hospitals are generally terrible at maternity care, and often way behind the times at best practices. Most obstetricians and maternity nurses can't even conceive of how a birth might proceed naturally and normally without their intervention.

    Really, what were they doing routinely testing for drugs anyway? Unless she was visibly tweaking or had track marks, it's definitely an unreasonable search. And then to blindly believe she was on opium is the height of bureaucratic foolishness. Seriously, how many people are into opium in modern America when they can smoke pot for a fraction of the price?
     
  6. TravelnMedic

    TravelnMedic Original Member

    For costs for a in hospital birth that sounds about right, based off what friends and co-workers have told me.

    As for consents, I've done this a couple of times, and your right they attempt to coerce and bully into signing as is. The consents are getting sloppier and sloppier and more bloated as obamacare comes into effect. Out of all of them anesthesiologist consents are the worst.

    A year ago I had a anesthesiologist who tried to shove a consent down my throat after I had already been give pre-procedure meds (Big No No) and attempted coercion under duress to obtain a consent. Didn't work and I had my doctor kick him off my case and get someone else. Procedure was completed without a issue but once I was awake hospital administration was wanting to talk to me. In the end hospital did a whole lot of sucking up including eating the whole procedure and rehab bill, revoked the original anesthesiologist privileges & credentials at the hospital, and ultimately was sanctioned by the State medical board including a three year license suspension.

    Doctors and Hospitals hate it but you can can mark up and modify a consent, just make sure you do it right (mark through and initial). Done it more then a few times especially when consents were bloated, and fluffed so as to increase the bill.

    Food for thought and my .02 cents
     
    nachtnebel likes this.
  7. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Our clinic's game was try to get spouses to sign as guarantors for each other's medical care. We don't live in a community property state, and spouses are not mutually liable for each other's obligations. So if I went in for an earache, they would try to get me to sign as guarantor for any care that my wife might ever obtain, and vice-versa.

    I always read what I sign, and I NEVER sign anything that has the word "guarantor" in it. I've made quite a habit of marking up their forms, and it really annoys the receptionist when I stand there and actually READ everything that they put in front of me to sign.
     
  8. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    Agree but epidurals have their uses. Never figured out why natural pain was so hot
     
  9. The pain is a beeyatch but the high afterwards is the best thing ever. :D
     
  10. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    http://www.erowid.org/psychoactives/testing/testing_law1.shtml

    http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2013/feb/07/new_jersey_supreme_court_protect

    I am certain that hidden someplace in any consent form from an OB or hospital admission is wording about drug testing. READ before you sign.

    When my youngest was born, 40 years ago, I was being discharged when a nurse came running in to tell me that I couldn't leave until I'd had a chest x-ray for TB. I refused saying it was too late because if I had TB I'd already infected everyone on the floor and further I refused because a chest x-ray was just a revenue raiser for the hospital - which I knew to be true because I worked at this particular hospital.
     
    TravelnMedic likes this.
  11. The problem with "read before you sign" when we're talking about birthing women is that they arrive in labor, an inherently altered state, often just wanting to be left alone and willing to sign a thing just to get officious hospital ladies out of their face so they can focus on their labor. I know I was in no state to read and comprehend a document when I was in labor. On the pregnant lady bulletin boards there's sometimes advice about how to get these forms in advance to read and mark up, but it's a challenging thing to deal with when you're feeling all hormonal and vulnerable, crying at cat food commercials and such. It sucks all around.
     
  12. Doober

    Doober Original Member


    Most hospitals offer pre-registration, although not all patients take advantage of that, which is when you sign your consent forms. I know the last time I pre-registered, I crossed out a couple of sections on the consent form; drove the hospital employees nuts. Those sections regarded being used as a teaching tool; no student is going to practice on me, sorry about that. I also crossed out sections allowing them to contact me for marketing reasons and use of any videos, photographs, etc. I am not a tool.

    I don't think most women don't arrive at the hospital in the throes of heavy labor and should be perfectly competent to read and understand any forms they are given.
     
  13. 'Cept women like me. I had a 4 hour labor, then a 3 hour labor, both of which took off like a runaway train, right away. The second time I knew what to expect, but the first time I had no idea how fast I was progressing. Had I been going to the hospital, I probably wouldn't have even made it.

    There are also a lot of women who want to wait until they are in full blown labor with water broken before they get to the hospital because if they don't progress on schedule (in other words, arbitrarily speedily), they get pressured into a pitocin drip, which causes such painful contractions it leads inevitably to an epidural, plus a catheter and bed-bound on their backs, the worst position for pushing out a baby. This "cascade of interventions" is also prone to causing fetal distress at every stage (much more often than the staff will admit if you ask), which then winds you up with a pretty quick C-section.

    It's really a minefield if one is grossed out by the thought of being hooked up to a bunch of tubes, needles, and machines, then cut open. There are some hospitals and doctors who don't routinely put women through all this crap, but a lot that do, and women don't often have a choice in hospitals because of what's nearby or what their insurance pays for.
     

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