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Woman charged with murder after refusing C-section - Page 15

post #281 of 357
The problem with forced treatment on pregnant women is that those who have problems - medical, social or otherwise - who are and have been marginalized by society for generations will have to go into hiding in order to have their children. So instead of coming out for help when they really need it, they and their unborn will have had no medical care and no help. More women and their babies will die.

Cases like this murder case and others where mom is charged with child abuse, neglect, murder etc while the child is in utero, and a court ordered cesearean threatened should she dare step into the same hospital have undermined our health and freedom. Forcing her to get treatment for drug abuse (or anything else) while pregnant because "its for the baby's health" destroys her sanctity. Her unborn child suddenly has more rights than she does and she becomes nothing more than an incubator where the state gets to chose the treatment, birth, and whether or not she will get to raise her children.

At least in Canada, here until a baby is born and is seperate from its mother, the mother's rights still superceede. Although they have tried to force the issue. The "G" case in Manitoba a few years ago. Until the baby is seperate from the mother and breathing on its own, it is not legally a person.

Unfortunately, with the way the court cases are going in the states, once pregnant, women are no longer persons. Only their fetuses are. Only the rights of the fetus are taking into account.

And, within a decade, Canada will start to follow the same trend.
post #282 of 357

As a mother who lost a twin

I am sorry that I have not read all of your posts, but rather skimmed. A friend who posts here often said this forum was discussing really interesting aspects to this case.

I want to through this in, I lost my daughter Mia at 34 5/7 weeks of one of the hardest pregnancies of record at my OB's pratice. They induced and delivered my so, Max, vaginally since he was twin A and head down.

I can tell you all this having birthed twins and having lost one to a "cord accident". Twins are high risk and for that reason you see a doctor every other week with monthly ultrasounds. They tell you from day one that rarely are twins delivered vaginally but in all cases they prefer to deliver vaginally. The number of tests and appointments you have is staggering. As I read the articles, the doctors saw that one twin was in distress, probably twin to twin transfusion as that is what shows over time. If it were a lowered heartrate or a cord twist, they would not have given her weeks to make the decision. Therefore she knew that the twin was in distress and chose to not save its life.

While I agree, that this case sets a dangerous precedent, I find it hard to believe based on my own love for my children that a mother would chose her own over her child's life. Frankly, I thought nothing of being bedridden for my entire pregnancy to give my twins the best chance of survival.

As I read the articles, they claim she was jailed also for endangering the surviving twin. That being given, I agree she should have been sterilized when she delivered, she appears to not be mentally competent. And it is likely she will get pregnant again.

While I agree with much of what is said on this post, let us not forget, that she let a child in her womb die. No matter what the reason. And frankly, then she should have terminated the pregnancy. I promise you the list of dangerous possibilities from having multiples is given to you on day one, and reinforced at every single appointment, there is no way she was not aware of the chance of a c-section.

I think unless you have had a stillborn, or a multiple loss, or the resulting complications that might have left you sterile, the case, while interesting, and indeed groundbreaking, in its legal precedents might not hit home on the same level. A woman who would do this is not of sound mind, and should be in a mental institution, or if she is sane, then she should be in jail.

If she did not want to face the risks, then she should not have proceeded with a multiple pregnancy.
post #283 of 357

what would you do if you found out you just lost a baby

"If I smoked, and I had just lost a baby, I might light up after the fact. Remember, people with addictions have them because they don't have the resources to cope with trauma in their life. They don't physicaly have the wherewithall to cope with terrible things."

Again, sorry to join so late and have so much to say, but I know over 150 women who were in just that situation. They live around the world, and are from all walks of life. Not ONE of them went out and smoked, drank, drugged. Many lay in hospital beds for months with monitors on, giving up the rest of their lives to ensure that their surviving multiples made it.

Murder it is, and child endangerment it is!

By the way, my mother has spent decades working with recovering addicts and so I do think it is a disease, but in this case, my mothering instinct says she should go to jail.
post #284 of 357
As to the docs. Lets face it, the doctors are not wrong all the time. They do learn some things in the roughly 8-10 years of schooling.
Unfortunately, normal natural childbirth is not one of them. Obstetricians are basically practicing midwifery without a license.
post #285 of 357

Re: As a mother who lost a twin

Originally posted by lena g I agree she should have been sterilized when she delivered
I'm sorry but WHAT?!?!?

Who has the right to decide who should be allowed to procreate and who isn't?

I am against women doing drugs while pregnant. However, I did have a beer during both of my pregnancies. Does that mean that if I had (goddessforbid) been in the states when I went into labour and the doctor recommended a C-Section and I refused and (goddessforbid) something happened to my baby that I could be sitting in jail on a life sentence for murder right now???

That's so wrong for so many reasons and I'm surprised that any woman thinks that it is a good idea. Anyone who thinks that there's enough resources for all the people that need help is sadly mistaken.

Question: I've read what I can find on this case but NOWHERE does it mention induction, just C-Sections. Was the woman in question told that she needed to deliver or that a C/S was her only option?

Also, with my youngest, I was supposed to have a homebirth but went to the hosptial because of bleeding at 41 weeks that was bright red and plentiful and my MW was an hour away. The nurses told me to go home. I insisted on seeing a doctor before I left. He sent me for an U/S in the morning which showed a tear and induced me. If I had listened to the nurses, my dd might not be here today. Would they be liable? No. If I had left, should I be liable? NO!

Women who are pregnant have hard choices to make. For the lucky ones, they don't seem hard because the love they feel for their child/ren is strong enough to make the choices seem easy.

What about mothers of multiples who elect to selectively terminate?

I think what bothers me the most is that 'THE STATE' picks and chooses what choices are free to make. I think 'THE STATE' should first of all SUPPORT choices ~~ single parenthood, education, rehabilitation, pregnancy supports, informed medical care and alternatives before even THINKING about restricting choices.

Some may think there's a difference between this woman sitting in jail and another woman who opts out of a C/S because she believes in natural childbirth, but there's not really. Especially when the next woman (like the one in the link whose doctor said her baby was too large to birth naturally even though she had birthed 6 others, some of whom were larger) who opts out of a C/S and is unfortunate enough to have their baby not make it, is charged with murder.
post #286 of 357
Lena, Thanks for sharing your thoughts and situation, and insight.
For me you are the voice of reason and sanity on this thread.

I am also sorry for your loss.

post #287 of 357
I agree with several other posters who are up in arms because of what this could lead to, if women are now going to be charged with murder for unborn children.

From what I've read (and I don't know if it is all true, but this is what my reactions are if it is) I do think that MR is a horribly sick person who has done VERY wrong things to herself and her children. (yes I do agree that there should have been programs to help her prior to all of this, and I do feel badly for her, especially thinking of what her childhood must have been like). I mentally go "Why in the HELL didn't she have the c-section when she went to THREE places and was told the same thing?!" My gut feeling is to punish her! A beautiful, innocent child is not alive today because of her choices that seem to make no sence.

But it sets a very dangerous precident! We can't let the law take over our bodies like this! We should be free to make our own medical choices for our own bodies! No one should be able to take that from us. If she goes down for not having surgery, who's next?

"It's not just the conduct, it's the knowledge, the state of mind," he said
From the Salt Lake County prosecutor. HOW many average Americans would possibly say the same thing about someone wanting a homebirth? I know that the "oh that's DANGEROUS! What if something goes WRONG?!" though comes up, first and foremost, when you tell someone about the plans to homebirth if they don't understand. Or vaxing? I mean what "state of mind" and what "knowledge" to not "protect" your child from all these diseases?

And just as a little extra that has my scratching my head:

"What we're trying to send is the message that someone has to stand up for a child who could have been alive," he said.
Ummmm then why is abortion ok? (coming from someone very anti-abortion, emotionally very pro-life, but still feeling like abortion can't be made illegal)
post #288 of 357

Re: As a mother who lost a twin

Originally posted by lena g

I agree she should have been sterilized when she delivered


I think unless you have had a stillborn, or a multiple loss, or the resulting complications that might have left you sterile, the case, while interesting, and indeed groundbreaking, in its legal precedents might not hit home on the same level.
Lena, my first child was stillborn. and I am horrified by the impications of her being charged with murder. My grief for my son and my emotional response to stories like this don't render my intellect and my commitment to women's control of our own bodies null.
post #289 of 357
I'm sure many of us here have had past or current issues with drugs or mental health problems. If we choose home birth or anything else the "normal people" tell us not to do, we may all be at risk even if our babies don't die.

There have been MDC members who deal with social services over unassisted or home births, and if they have a "past history" of something, they can be seen as not being in a position to make good decisions.
post #290 of 357
there is only one society in recorded history that had a policy of sterilizing mentally ill people. that was Nazi Germany. i have yet to hear anyone in support of sterilizing this disturbed woman say "yeah, Hitler got that one right".

post #291 of 357
Originally posted by dado
there is only one society in recorded history that had a policy of sterilizing mentally ill people. that was Nazi Germany. i have yet to hear anyone in support of sterilizing this disturbed woman say "yeah, Hitler got that one right".

Actually in the US they sterilized people who were mentally retarded or had mental illness. It just didnt happen in Nazi Germany.

I do not advocate selectively sterilizing women who are mentally ill or MR, what I want to see is policy or even payment to women to get sterilized if they abuse illicit drugs during pregnancy or have a history of child abuse. I wish it could be done for alcohol too but since its a legal substance, you can ingest all of it you want and permamently damage her fetus.

Also, the reason I support manslaughter in this case is because these unborn children were viable. We are not talking about a proceedure at 14 weeks or 10 weeks or even 26 weeks. We are talking about viable unborn human beings. Also the fact she got the same advice all three times doesnt leave me to believe the medical establishment was wrong. I dont see this as a case in which she just refused a csection, it was more than that.
post #292 of 357
Originally posted by OnTheFence
I dont see this as a case in which she just refused a csection, it was more than that.
I do too OTF. This wasn't (probably unless the news is VERY skewed) a homebirthing mama who KNEW she could do it. But how do you punish her actions (again assuming the news is right) without having it possibly affect more than just HER situation (people who are unable to make sound medical choices because of serious mental problems or drug use)? I've really been pondering on this since the thread started and I can't see a way for her to be punished for her stillborn while still keeping the rights and freedoms we all have a right to have (like right to refuse surgery). I can see her in jail for the drug use. But I simply can not think of a way to word a law that would punish her, and NOT punish homebirthers, and people who do not concent to surgery for "real" reasons. But that's just it, who decides what is an "Ok" reason to not have surgery, or concent to any doctor's wishes? I don't want anyone to decide for me what's ok and what's not concerning operating on my body.

Well and actually they do have a way to deal with those who are incapable of making decisions like that. The psych evals and court orders. I really wonder WHY that didn't happen at THREE different hospitals!!
post #293 of 357
according to this Yale Bulletin article, it looks like the Nazis actually ADMIRED the U.S. policies on eugenics, and imitated them!


i don't think this woman is guilty of malice or murder. i think she's guilty of bad judgement, mental illness, and lack of access to compassionate, comprehensive, appropriate care for her condition.

and the doctors were just doing what they knew... medical malpractice for OBs is out of control because parents sue for damage from births when cesareans are not performed. they've been very strongly conditioned to believe that c/s is the panacea to pregnancy problems...

there are going to be no winners in this story. none.

post #294 of 357
I just seen on the news that this lady is being investagated in a baby selling ring! I donthave a link yet but when i seen it i will post it ,,, This lady sounds like a all around nut ball
post #295 of 357
Originally posted by christymama
I just seen on the news that this lady is being investagated in a baby selling ring! I donthave a link yet but when i seen it i will post it ,,, This lady sounds like a all around nut ball

post #296 of 357

ok ..

We know she isn't the sharpest tool in the shed.. She has issues, BUT if she was all about the money should could get out of these babies wouldn't she have wanted BOTH babies out alive??? Right then???

Unfortunately pregnant women have been known to sell their babies to the highest bidder.. I had a friend when iwas in my young 20's who this had happened to.. She was adopted, but when she was older her parents told her the only reason they were able to adopt her is because they had paid her birth mother.. Who was a drug addict.. She is fine.. She is a lovely woman.. She is doesn't try drugs because she is afraid fo the effect they may have on her given her bio-mothers habits..

I have read on adoptive boards that the babies most adversly affect by drugs are the ones who mothers are on LEGAL drugs while pregnant.. The mother on anti-psychotics.. Anti-seizure drugs. NOT the crack or coke babies.. Nothing to back that up personally.. Just what I have read anecdotally from mothers who HAVE been there..

MR did NOT make the best of choices.. Hell.. She made AWFUL, SH!TTY, MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE decisions.. She still has the same rights that we do.. She has the same laws to follow.. Her child died.. A child she may have been looking to sell to the highest bidder.. That is a crime.. Have a stillbirth from refusing a c/s is not..

Warm Squishy Feelings..

post #297 of 357

It is good your friend has no outward effects of the drugs her mother took.
However, I am very involved in the online adoption community and have been for almost 6 years and locally for over four. Illegal drugs have a major impact on a fetus, I exclude weed because it does not pass through the placenta of have the effects that other illegal drugs, legal drugs, nicotene or alchohol has on a fetus. Crack, coke, herion, meth, speed and alcohol once it passes through the placents alters the cells and cell growth in the brain. It can cause the smallest defect to the greatest defect. Damage is done whether you see it physically or not. Looking at my son you would never think that he had fetal alcohol effects. Even being around him in short spurts, you may think he is normal and brilliant. (he is brilliant but far from normal!)
A friend of mine is parenting a baby whose mother was on meth. Physically he is off the charts in growth and development, however he has neurological damage that severely alters his behavior and learning. I am only commenting on this because I would hate for someone to read this and think that snorting lines or smocking crack is okay. Its not. Alchohol isnt either. Recent findings are showing that even as few as two drinks can do damage to a fetus.
Also, you are right in saying that antipsychotics taken during pregnancy can lead to severe birth defects. Lithium a well. One reason some babies are placed for adoption is because of mental instability, and unfortunately their mothers chose not to discontinue meds for what ever reason. I have a friend who is a birthmother who took Lithium her entire pregnancy. She lucked out that the child she gave birth too did not have the common heart defects associated with Lithium use during pregnancy. Also, some narcotics given for pain relief actually affect the placenta -- demerol is one such drug and it is frequently given to mothers when the have pain in the last trimester or preterm labor. They give in conjuction with terb.

post #298 of 357
I most certainly DID NOT want to give the impression that any illegal drug was a good idea to take... Just that the prescription drugs some people take are just as bad, and those women are not charged with murder should they have a stillborn child..


post #299 of 357
Well, I think drug use during pregnancy is just WRONG, including cigarettes and alcohol. But I think this case is about more than just drug use.

What if the c-section was never a factor? Should she be convicted of murder if she used drugs and a baby died? Or what if there were no drugs involved and it was just the c-section that she didn't have that was said to be the cause of death? Would any of your opinions change?

I started a thread in Activism a while back asking opinions on prosecution of women who use drugs while pregnant, and discovered that I really don't know how I feel about it. Originally I though, yes, they are criminals, they have violated the child's rights. But as I read more of the responses I wasn't sure; it's not like treating these women as criminals will really reduce drug use during pregnancy.

So yes, I think it's wrong, I just don't know if punishment (other than termination of parental rights) is the answer. Look at how often people commit crimes after getting out of prison.
post #300 of 357
I want to point out that there are many antipsychotic drugs that are believed to be quite safe in pregnancy...many practitioners believe they are safer than uncontrolled psychiatric conditions and the harm someone might cause to themselves and others - including the fetus. Many MDC moms have taken similar drugs in pregnancy and their children are developing fine. In many cases one that should be avoided in pregnancy can be replaced with on that's believed to be safer. We need to demand that more psychiatrists take that into consideration when prescribing for women of childbearing age...since conception is often unexpected, or not discovered until well into pregnancy. I encourage pregnant women in similar situations to consult texts on the issue like Hale's and others. Just stopping psychiatric medication while pregnant can be disastrous for some families. As we find out more about biochemical effects of emotional disturbance, perhaps this will be found to be even more certainly true, since we know that in preterm birth emotional stress can be a major factor - let alone a woman that might engage in risky or suicidal behavior with uncontrolled psychiatric issues. Some psychiatric conditions are believed to have a genetic component...so that might be as much an issue as medications or drugs in pregnancy.

One thing that's interesting. We pillory women over drug use, but poor (and in my area affluent) families can have enormous exposures to lead. Which is extermely linked to emotional and behavioral issues, IQ, and future criminal behaviour. Interesting how we tend to kick these things back to the mother when it can be a very multi-faceted problem. Preterm birth also causes a lot of life long complications. Early inductions, fertility-treatment induced multiple pregnancies, undiagnosed infections like urinary or gum disease...we have not decreased our rate of preterm birth in the last decades, that would probably save a lot of children from these negative health effects far more than telling women with psychiatric problems not to take medication. In some cases with sick pregnant woman (physical illnesses too) doctors have to try to treat both the woman and the fetus as best they can...if your choice is delivery at 28 weeks with the inherent medical risks to the child or going longer and using a medication? Tough choices. The long term effects of either can sound very similar...so it's not clear.

One final thought, somewhat unrelated - should HIV positive women, or women who know they have a genetic or infectious condition, but become pregnant, be charged with murder if their child get the disease or defect and dies?
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