Doctor threating to call cops on pregnant woman..
Doctor sends a pregnant woman an email saying he'll tell the police to bring her to the hospital after she refuses to have a C-section a week after her due date
- Florida mom, 35, is pregnant with her fifth baby
- Gave birth to her first four children via C-section but wants a natural birth this time even though multiple doctors said it is a high-risk pregnancy
A Florida doctor sent his pregnant patient an email saying that he would call the police and have them force her to the hospital after she refused to give birth to her high-risk child.
The case is still going on as Lisa Epsteen refuses to give in and have a C-section even though that is the way she gave birth to her first four children.
When Mrs Epsteen, 35, became pregnant with her fifth child, she resolved to have a vaginal birth even though some view that as a more difficult and potentially complicated process after having given birth via caesarean four previous times.
Sticking to her plan: Lisa Epsteen, 35, gave birth to her four prior children via C-section though she refuses to take multiple doctor's advice and have a similar procedure for her fifth child even though he is at risk and a week past his due date
According to The Tampa Bay Times, her due date passed a week ago, she had a worrying doctor's appointment on Friday, and then another one on Tuesday where other doctors asked her to stay in the hospital and give birth right then.
She brushed those concerns away and stuck to her plan to give birth naturally, but the moment where she got truly upset was when her physician, Dr Jerry Yankowitz, sent her the threatening note in an effort to push her into action.
Expert: Dr Jerry Yankowitz is the head of obstetrics at the University of South Florida hospital and he sent her an email saying he would call police if she didn't go to the hospital immediately
'I am deeply concerned that you are contributing to a very high probability that your fetus will die or your child will incur brain damage if born alive. At this time, you must come in for delivery,' Dr Yankowitz wrote in the letter.
He is the chairman of the University of South Florida's obstetrics and gynecology department, and though he initially agreed to take Mrs Epsteen on as a patient and help her towards a vaginal birth, the circumstances have changed.
'I would hate to move to the most extreme option, which is having law enforcement pick you up at your home and bring you in, but you are leaving the providers of USF/TGH no choice,' he wrote.
'In a couple of hours there are going to be cops on my doorstep taking me away from home — in front of my children — to force me into having surgery.'
Instead of sending her speeding out to the hospital, Mrs Epsteen got angry and reportedly told the Tampa Bay Times that she called a support group called National Advocates for Pregnant Women because she felt his actions were illegal.
The group sided with her in spite of the fact that multiple doctors told her that her baby was in distress on Tuesday, and that because she had developed gestational diabetes she was at an additionally high risk point in her pregnancy.
When doctors at the University of South Florida hospital told her that she should give birth right then, she determined that their joint concern was unfounded, and felt that it was the wrong time to give birth because no one would be able to watch her 2-year-old child and her husband was still at work with no way to get to the hospital since she had used the family's only car.
Water views: Doctors at USF wanted her to stay and have the baby after an appointment on Tuesday but she refused because there would be no one to watch her 2-year-old child and her husband was unable to get out of work
The New York-based advocacy group had a lawyer call the doctor and tell him to stop his threats against Mrs Epsteen.
'The threat he was making was both legally and ethically unjustifiable,' the group's attorney Farah Diaz-Tello said to the Tampa Bay Times.
Even though she has been so adamantly opposing having a C-section for the fifth time- repeatedly refusing various doctor's suggestions and even going against the news that her baby boy is not in an ideal position for a vaginal birth- she went ahead and scheduled one on Friday.
'Honestly, I feel abandoned. There has to be a level of trust between provider and patient, and that has been betrayed,' she told The Tampa Bay Times.
In light of the legal action, Dr Yankowitz sent a follow-up email saying that he will not send the police to get her but he remains convinced that 'you and your child are in jeopardy'.