–Samantha Burton wanted to leave the hospital. Her doctor strongly disagreed, enough to go to court to keep her there.
She smoked cigarettes during the first six months of her pregnancy and was admitted on a false alarm of premature labor. Her doctor argued she was risking a miscarriage if she didn't quit smoking immediately and stay on bed rest in the hospital, and a judge agreed.
Three days after the judge ordered her not to leave the hospital, Burton delivered a stillborn fetus by cesarean section.
And six months after the pregnancy ended, the dispute over the legal move to keep her in the hospital continues, raising questions about where a mother's right to decide her own medical treatment ends and where the priority of protecting a fetus begins.
"The entire experience was horrible and I am still very upset about it," Burton said through her lawyer. "I hope nobody else has to go through what I went through."
Answer by NotPanicking at 9:36 AM on Jan. 26, 2010
Answer by sweet-a-kins at 8:19 AM on Jan. 26, 2010
Answer by IamPatSajak at 8:21 AM on Jan. 26, 2010
Another case of the medical community not knowing when to give up. The woman has the right to put her existing family above her expected baby. Who died anyway. Bed rest at home might have been less stressful and resulted in a live birth. This doctor should have his medical license removed.
Answer by Anonymous at 8:59 AM on Jan. 26, 2010
Answer by tropicalmama at 8:59 AM on Jan. 26, 2010
Answer by tnmomofive at 8:59 AM on Jan. 26, 2010
tn, I agree , I did everything to ensure a safe delivery...but have known many pregnant women who haven't. From Smoking to eating sushi and drinking alchol.
I just don't think we can force someone to get medical care that they don't want. .....IDK
Just a very sad story
Answer by sweet-a-kins at 9:09 AM on Jan. 26, 2010
I think it's been pretty well established the effects smoking has on a fetus. I feel bad for the child that never had a chance.
That said, I don't agree with the Dr. keeping her in the hospital. I am sure she received a bill for the medical expenses. She should have had the right to refuse treatment.
Answer by QuinnMae at 9:20 AM on Jan. 26, 2010
Answer by justanotherjen at 9:29 AM on Jan. 26, 2010
Its such a strange thing. If a woman WANTS a baby then its murder for an outside person to murder it. If she doesnt its legal and abortion. Then if you have a father on hand that wants the baby there is precedent to put a pregnant womanwho drinks into confinement of some kind to save the baby. BUT there is also precedent to allow the mother to have an abortion against the wishes of the father because its her body! I KNOW this isnt an abortion question but when I rad it it brought to me how muddy this whole issue is! Its AWFUL that she was forced to stay in the hospital and I dont KNOW if it entirely legal. Is it HER body and HER choice?? OR was the Dr acting in the best interest of a CHILD?? AND if we go with the 2nd theory can the mom NOW be charged for child endangerment/neglect ect........... SUCH a muddy issue! :( Pretty CRAPPY priorities for the mama tho :(
Answer by momof030404 at 9:33 AM on Jan. 26, 2010