Do they need consent for a tox screen? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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I'm Pregnant > Do they need consent for a tox screen?
MountainLaurel's Avatar MountainLaurel 02:58 PM 03-07-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiemum
Personally, I simply think that over-exposure to the D.A.R.E. program has addled your brain.


limace's Avatar limace 07:38 PM 03-07-2006
I posted earlier, as the CPS employee. I want to point out that most people responding to this message are talking about marijuana, and I totally agree that the studies about harmful effects of pre (or post-) natal marijuana exposure are inconclusive, at best. I don't deny that CPS agencies in some jurisdictions still intervene on this issue, but I'd say that most of us are too busy to be really worried about it, to be honest. I don't have a huge issue, personally or professionally, with smoking some pot, and agree that alcohol is a much larger issue as far as child-safety goes.

I'm also rabidly pro-choice, and believe strongly that government shouldn't interfere with fertility issues. But I'll be honest here and say that that's one of those beliefs that is really easy for me to cling tight to in the abstract, or in a society-wide basis, and much harder in some individual cases. Deciding where the line falls between the rights of pregnant women and the rights of baby-to-be is very hard. IN my state, this means CPS doesn't do anything about prenatal drug use unless the baby actually tests positive at birth. If mom tests positive during pregnancy (and I'm talking about higher risk drugs here, mainly meth) then the most that happens is that the hospital is asked to test the baby at birth and CPS is notified. If mom and baby test negative, that's where it ends.

I do believe some people use a drug, even meth, just once or twice, experimentally. I do not believe that people who are not addicts would choose to have that "one time ever" use be in their ninth month of pregnancy. Almost every mother I've ever worked with with a positive baby has told me that was the only time she ever used, and she did it to clean her house, or she took sudafed (absolutely not possible as a cause for a positive meth tox screen). And every one of them that ever got clean has admitted later that they were lying. And, in my opinion, you can not use meth regularly and be any kind of safe or appropriate parent to your children.

Sure, hospitals should ask what other meds you are taking before running a screen-all the labs around here do that. Nothing besides methamphetamine shows up as methamphetamine, though.

I think a better societal response to this issue would be to move to a place of seeing addiction as truly the medical issue it is, and really providing family supportive treatment, with all the treatment beds needed, for moms and babies to stay together. If we focus on either a law-enforcement/criminal response or a "how dare you ask me? test me?" response we will either continue to drive women with problems away from medical care, or we will continue to see children as just a piece of property that adults can do what they want to with.

Stepping off the soapbox now
ShamrockFaerie's Avatar ShamrockFaerie 05:35 PM 03-10-2006
I live in a very conservative state where there is no medical mariuana initiative. Social Services intervenes even when mothers test positive for marijuana only. There is no required notification of tox screens or any bloodwork consistent with "normal screening".

The law varies from state to state, which really complicates things even more.

Marijuana is different from other drugs. I use it theraputically for morning sickness and athsma. In doing so, I am taking a risk. But it was an educated medical decision based on the dangers of malnutrition and steroid therapy associated with athsma. I made the decision based on alot of research. Still, if and when the tox screen is performed, I have no right to stop it, and I will have to explain to a generally ignorant social worker that using MJ doesn't make me a junkie or an unfit mother. This is just simply the way it is in my state.

The only way these archaic policies will change is if enough moms get angry like the original poster. The idea that because these laws have the health of the baby at heart they are in some way perfect or above revision is ridiculous, closed minded, ignorant, and foolish. Most states (like mine) treat MJ users the same way they treat heroin or crack users..... The information out there is just so incomplete and inaccurate that even medical professionals and state officials don't have the resources necessary to make a determination (based on a tox screen or any other test) of whether a mother is fit or not. In the case of early labor or complications a tox screen should (IMHO) only be ordered if the mother's specific situation calls for it, and then the mother should be notified. Point blank..... If they take bodily fluids from you, they ought to tell you EVERYTHING they are going to do with those fluids. Unfortunately the "Land of the Free" only applies to those who *cough*-what was that ignorant phrase again?- "Don't have anything to hide"

What nonsense...... I can't believe that there are people out there who still think sweeping stereotypical laws like the drug laws in the US actually help ANYONE. And I can't believe that any decent person would suggest a high risk mother (like one addicted to drugs) should avoid going to a medical professional for fear of being caught. And I'm totally horrified at the apparent willingness of some mothers to sacrifice their God-given right to procede in pregnancy without invasive and unnecessary testing and risk. And I'm disgusted by those mothers' judgemental behavior toward moms who want to be involved in their medical treatment and expect to be informed of any and all tests done during pregnancy. I'm shocked by some of the comments in this thread, and saddened to find the animosity which wich some mothers have attacked others.

Grow up, people.
mum2tori's Avatar mum2tori 07:54 PM 03-10-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShamrockFaerie
And I'm disgusted by those mothers' judgemental behavior toward moms who want to be involved in their medical treatment and expect to be informed of any and all tests done during pregnancy. I'm shocked by some of the comments in this thread, and saddened to find the animosity which wich some mothers have attacked others.

Grow up, people.
Unfortunately the same could be said about the tone of your post.
jenny-g's Avatar jenny-g 09:38 PM 03-10-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShamrockFaerie
.

Marijuana is different from other drugs. I use it theraputically for morning sickness and athsma. In doing so, I am taking a risk. But it was an educated medical decision based on the dangers of malnutrition and steroid therapy associated with athsma. I made the decision based on alot of research. Still, if and when the tox screen is performed, I have no right to stop it, and I will have to explain to a generally ignorant social worker that using MJ doesn't make me a junkie or an unfit mother. This is just simply the way it is in my state.

Grow up, people.
Um... um.... I"m sorry, but I'm about to rant a little bit.

NO studies have ever shown marijuana is safe during pregnancy OR FOR ASTHMA!!! While it is a mild bronchodilator, there are SO many other medications that are better than that for it, without the side effects. If you smoke it, how can you claim that you're doing more damage than good, via the tar and other carcinogens that are in the smoke? I can't believe the attitudes of people that think because something is "natural" it is safe, or justifying their drug use that it's been proven safe when it most certainly has not been. It's really sad, in my opinion, that you think it has- this emphases the denial and attitudes that are going to ensure true beneficial medical marijuana laws are never passed. It's one thing to have HG and use marijuana (preferably as the legal, controlled drug Marinol) as a last resort- it's another thing to subject your baby to a potentially dangerous drug due to normal/crappy morning sickness. (perhaps I'm wrong- perhaps you have been in the hospital for a month with an IV- but I'll assume you haven't since you didn't mention that.) I fully support the controlled, scientific testing of marinol for people with HG, which is far, far away from randomly smoking marijuana for morning sickness.

But, the real issue I have here is with the asthma. Asthma drugs have been tested for pregnancy- I know, I"ve had serious chronic asthma for most of my life, I"m a scientist, and I've looked into this like noone's business. If your asthma is so mild that marijuana helps it, it should be completely treatable with a *low-dose* steroid inhaler, that HAS been shown to be safe, or even a low-dose albuterol inhaler if it is that mild. Safe unlike whatever the heck you are breathing into your lungs now. I'd love to know what "studies" you've looked at that claim normal-dose steroid inhalers are not safe. But this is not the forum for that. We can start a separate thread on asthma medication if there's interest.

The issue of informed consent for a tox screen is a different issue than the safety of drugs. Tox screens are important because *people lie about taking drugs*. It can affect the treatment you get at the hospital due to drug interactions and the like. I agree with a previous poster that drug abuse should be seen as a medical, and not criminal problem. I also think there are appropriate uses for medical marijuana (without ever smoking it as to avoid the negative side effects of that form of ingestion.) But- one of the biggest problems I have with the whole Mothering scene is the lackadaisical attitude about *smoking* marijuana, which is a drug just like ANY OTHER DRUG, except it isn't regulated or controlled, and if you do anything other than grow your own, you really don't know what is in it. I see nothing more hypocritical than someone who is into natural pregnancy/parenting practices, who, say, tries to buy organic food, avoids caffeine, refuses many vaccines, etc (categories I myself fall into), - but who then for some reason thinks marijuana is okay due to.. what- some sort of social factor? That it's a plant?! That mothering ran an irresponsible article about it?! I would really love to truly understand the hypocrisy of why this happens. Natural does not imply good or safe! Everything is a chemical! Sometimes I blame the lack of critical thinking that comes about due to the dismal state of teaching science in school.. but that's getting cynical, now, isn't it.

Asthma is such a critical issue during pregnancy, especially. I know the tone of my post is that of irritation and craziness, but that's because this issue, and the ignorance I see on here, makes me irritated and crazy. It *is* difficult to find true answers to questions about the safety of drugs during pregnancy, especially if you don't have the access to medical literature or the experience to be able to determine whether a study was performed and analysed correctly- perhaps the biggest issue. I suppose being 36 wks pregant myself, I get really protective of children in general, and when I see obviously incorrect assumptions, it makes me upset. I left the vac. boards on here when someone claimed their serious, untreated asthma was safer than an inhaler, and that asthma or otherwise compromised levels of oxygen to the baby have *never been shown to cause birth defects*. What do you do against that level of willful ignorance?! Oye vey. It really breaks my heart.

I think a good exercise is to say.. if you think you're really at the point that you would take marijuana for something in pregancy.. would you take coke? (from a natural plant source!) Would you get drunk? (oh, so natural! Grapes and yeast!) Would you take X? (not addictive! not shown to cause birth defects.. because it's never been studied!) Peel away the natural, happy hippieness of marijuana and treat it just like any other drug... and I think the attitudes around here would be different.
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