Woman charged with murder after refusing C-section - Page 5 - Mothering Forums
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#121 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 09:28 PM
 
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pamamidwife and OTF both stated perfectly how I feel in this matter.
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#122 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 09:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by kama'aina mama
No one is nominating her for mother of the year. We are saying that a charge of murder in the first degree ( also know as premeditated murder) is so far over the top it is mind blowing. And we worry that once this becomes a legal precedent the prosecuters will be less careful about sorting the real screw ups like this woman from the very educated, highly opinionated women here. Now if you refuse doctors advice they can threaten you with a dead baby and an arrest. Not what I call progress.
It was premeditated though. Think about this:
Drug addict mother goes to the hospital because she knows something is wrong with the babies. The advise her after examination, heart tones, etc that she needs to deliver them right away or they die. She leaves. Goes somewhere else. Hears the same thing. Waits. Does more drugs. Knows something is still wrong woth the babies, goes to another facility. They tell her the same thing. Three times she has been told that her babies need to be delivered because their lives are at stake. THREE TIMES. She leaves again.
One baby dies, the other is born addicted to coke.

While I dont want my rights to make choices for myself or children taken away, I also feel something has to be done to protect these babies. I dont agree with first degree murder (even though I think they could have a case) I do think she should be charged with crimes and locked in jail. (and I hope she never reproduces again)
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#123 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 09:35 PM
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Originally posted by urklemama


I don't care if she's a friggin' nutcase, her living baby needs her.

Her living baby has already been adopted. And she has a history of mental illness, which makes the story even more complicated.
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#124 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 09:35 PM
 
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Lots of women use some form of drug when pregnant, and when the babies have problems the women don't always get blamed. I think this was more about her disobeying the doctor.

And if women should be held responsible for drugs' affect on babies, why should they be permitted to use pain relief in an uncomplicated birth? Those drugs have never been proven safe for babies.
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#125 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 09:36 PM
 
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#126 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 09:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by kama'aina mama
No one is nominating her for mother of the year. We are saying that a charge of murder in the first degree ( also know as premeditated murder) is so far over the top it is mind blowing. And we worry that once this becomes a legal precedent the prosecuters will be less careful about sorting the real screw ups like this woman from the very educated, highly opinionated women here. Now if you refuse doctors advice they can threaten you with a dead baby and an arrest. Not what I call progress.
I agree. I think she definitely needs physical, psychological and spiritual help. She did consult 3 different Dr and got the same info. She was using street drugs. I'm not inclined to stasnd up for her right now.

I am however, concerned about hospitals and doctors having too much power. If it starts with laboring mothers, then the elderly, the poor, then everyone. If my MIL and dh hadn't removed his dad from our local hospital and taken him to a hospital 1.5 hr away, he would have died from Guillain-Barré Syndrome... they were treating him for a heart attack!! What if he hadn't had the right to leave?
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#127 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 09:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zaq001
WOW OTF, I can't believe you know all of the specifics! How absolutly intuitive of you to know all of the ins and outs of her situation. You really do have the inside track on this AND all of the facts.

Tell me, how do you get all of your info? Who is your inside person on this?
I can read the articles. I dont believe drug addicts.
Don't send threats to my PM box. That is a violatoin of Mothering policy.
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#128 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 09:47 PM
 
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Innocent til proven guilty
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#129 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 09:48 PM
 
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I'm sure most people here have seen a picture of the woman involved here. She looks quite upset, but also first impression of a photograph of her is that she isn't quite the sharpest tack. Look at how all the articles portray her:

She was born to a mentally retarded mother.
She suffered from ODD, and possibly bipolar disorder most likely as a result of how she was raised.
She's had many tragedies in her life.
She's had multiple partners, has had several kids and has custody of none.
She's very low income.
She refused a cesarean citing vanity reasons.
She claims nobody talked to her about getting a cesarean.
She was planning on giving the twins up for adoption, and they implied she neglected the health of the babies because she wasn't going to keep them anyways.
She had a cigarette when she was told one of the twins died.
The baby(ies) tested positive for cocaine and alcohol.

How many of these things taken separately would make you feel she was a victim of circumstance? A victim of society, social class, etc.? How many things could be seen as he said/she said? How many things could have been exaggerated to make a point for prosecution? How many of these descriptions above could you see being used to describe YOU?


My mother is mentally ill. I've been treated for depression and PTSD so I could easily have that "mentally ill" label. I've had many tragedies occur in my life. I'm sure you could find plenty of evidence against my character if you really looked. I'm low income. I'd refuse a cesarean if I didn't deem it necessary. However, I have more knowledge and would be able to articulate my reasons better than just not wanting to be cut from stem to stern. I don't smoke, but I am an ex smoker, and I can sooooo see going outside for a smoke if I just discovered one of my babies died.

However, all these labels worked against this woman. When the baby(ies) tested positive for cocaine and alcohol, that was another nail in the coffin... but as you guys all know I'm sure... TESTS CAN BE WRONG! When I gave birth to my first child, I was 17 years old, unmarried (engaged but that didn't matter to them), still in high school, and scared. When my baby tested positive for drugs, they treated me like crap and never even told me the lab results until 2 weeks later. I called the lab, horrified and confused. I didn't even take Tylenol my entire pregnancy, let alone these drugs my baby tested positive for! Turns out they knew they made a mistake but didn't put it in the chart.

Everybody jumped to the conclusion based on my history and the way they perceived me that these tests were accurate. When they discovered a mistake had been made, they never apologized.

Based on this woman's parents, her teenage years (how many teenagers do you know who could possibly be diagnosed with ODD!!!), her financial and relationship status, and her mental abilities the media has immediately portrayed her as being guilty. Was there ever any repeated drug/alcohol tests?

If they knew she was abusing drugs and alcohol during the pregnancy, why didn't they help her?

I can see them acting negatively towards this woman based on their perceptions of her, and her with her defiance towards authority figures, behaving irrationally and thus not hearing what the doctors were saying. She may not have truly heard what the doctors were suggesting, because she thought they were attacking her. She may have picked up on their prejudices against her. Sometimes people with disorders like that shut down when they feel like the world is against them. She may not have realized the severity of the situation.

Should she be charged? If they verify that she was indeed abusing drugs and alcohol during the pregnancy, then yes she should be charged for that. But, it should be an independant laboratory that does the tests... not a laboratory for the hospital.

Should they charge her for not getting a cesarean? No. What about a parent who doesn't seek chemotherapy for their cancer stricken child (wasn't that in the same state?)? What about the future, and gene therapy? What if a family refuses treatments using gene therapy and the child dies? What if a parent refuses vaccines and the child gets sick? What if...?
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#130 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 09:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by somemama
Her living baby has already been adopted. And she has a history of mental illness, which makes the story even more complicated.
This baby also had coke in her system when she was born. Her baby doesnt need her. I know what the adoptive parents are going through if they have her in their home. Drug babies cry and are often cant be comforted. They have these high pitch screaming cries that last for hours. These babies feel pain and withdrawal from the drugs. They sometimes shake and have feeding problems. Have difficult attaching to their care givers and making eye contact.
The real woman who needs support is that adoptive mother. To relieve her from the constant screaming baby and all the medical visits and social worker visits she is going to have for the next few years. Someone needs to buy her a sling, and get her every Dr. Sears book on kids to be able to cope. Having a drug baby puts a whole new spin on "High Needs".
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#131 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 09:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Greaseball
Lots of women use some form of drug when pregnant, and when the babies have problems the women don't always get blamed. I think this was more about her disobeying the doctor.

And if women should be held responsible for drugs' affect on babies, why should they be permitted to use pain relief in an uncomplicated birth? Those drugs have never been proven safe for babies.
She didnt see her doctor. She saw a dr on call.
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#132 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 09:54 PM
 
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Journey there is a big difference between you and this woman.

IMO
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#133 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:05 PM
 
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I feel no compassion for this woman. She has a history of problems and has not stepped up to the plate to take responsibility for her actions. And now she has a bunch of people here supporting her irresponsibility. Had she not been irresponsible to begin with, using drugs, and failing to get proper care, this would be a non issue.
Why is it so hard for you to feel compassion for this woman?
Quote:
She was born to a mentally retarded mother.
She suffered from ODD, and possibly bipolar disorder most likely as a result of how she was raised.
She's had many tragedies in her life.
She's had multiple partners, has had several kids and has custody of none.
She's very low income.
She refused a cesarean citing vanity reasons.
She claims nobody talked to her about getting a cesarean.
She was planning on giving the twins up for abortion, and they implied she neglected the health of the babies because she wasn't going to keep them anyways.
She had a cigarette when she was told one of the twins died.
The baby(ies) tested positive for cocaine and alcohol.
OTF, I'm sorry, but your harsh mentality towards the mentally ill and drug addicted is what leads to these cases in the first place. I don't mean that as an attack. This harsh way of thinking, no compassion for drug addicts scares me so much. My father died of alcoholism. His disease was no different from hers, except his life circumstances were a lot better than hers. I have a lot of compassion for my dad. His disease alienated him from his only child, he died a horrible, horrible death. He made bad decisions like driving me places while he was drunk- even getting a DUI with me in the car, he was not the father he wanted to be, not the man he wanted to be. The last two were the worst punishments for him I think. I forgive him for having a disease. I forgive him for having depression, a mental illness. I forgive all of his bad choices that put me in terrible positions. I forgive him because knowing that he had a problem, and wanting to change weren't enough to dig him out of his hole. This woman is no different from him in many ways.

I have compassion for her. Where were all of us when she needed help? Where were we with her first two cesareans? Where were we when she was born to a mentally disabled woman? Where have we been all her life to help her heal from her diseases BEFORE she had children who would be injured as a result?

Now we want to sit in judgement of her actions? It is disgusting, IMO. It is a sickness of our society. We weren't compassionate before this happened and we didn't help prevent this baby's death by helping this woman, and now we aren't compassionate to her now that her diseases have hurt even more people in her life that she may love very much, or woul dhave loved were she not mentally ill.
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#134 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:11 PM
 
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Uhhh... I'm quite sure I said they should have helped her prior to this tragedy. That list was based on peoples preconceived notions about a person with the things on the list. I was defending parts of it...

I still think she should be charged if she actually was abusing alcohol and cocaine, even if it's a disease. What if your father was driving drunk and killed somebody. Should he not be charged because he has a disease? Should we be compassionate of him? What if it were your child killed by a drunk driver. Same difference.
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#135 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:13 PM
 
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Lauren, I think I love you . You said everything I wanted to say with grace and humility. Thank you. May peace and love surround you. Your father knew you loved him and it took a lot of love to forgive him. You will be blessed.
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#136 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Journey
I still think she should be charged if she actually was abusing alcohol and cocaine, even if it's a disease. What if your father was driving drunk and killed somebody. Should he not be charged because he has a disease? Should we be compassionate of him? What if it were your child killed by a drunk driver. Same difference.
I think she should be charged for using the cocaine and alcohol. Being compassionate doesn't mean completely disregarding other people's safety.

I didn't say my dad shouldn't have been charged with a DUI because he had a disease. One of my good friends and father of a 6 year old, a 3 year old and an 8 month old was killed by a drunk driver when my dd was 2 months old. It happened to be a 21 year old kid, but I still had compassion for him. Had he been an alcoholic, I would also have compassion for him. I don't think the 21 year old should do life in jail, even though he knew that if he got behind the wheel he could kill someone. If my child were killed by a drunk driver I wouldn't think that person should spend their life behind bars either.

I still believe that the first degree murder charges are crazy. Maybe they should file charges for accessory for the people who should have helped her but didn't. Like the medical staff who knew she was using and didn't do anything about it, or any state workers who had an opportunity to intervene beforehand and didn't. Do those people have any responsibility in this? I think they do. If they do, and this woman is being charged, then those who had an obligation to intervene BEFORE this happened are culpable too.
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#137 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:28 PM
 
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It's hard to believe, but there are some people who are so completely ignorant about drug use and pregnancy. They are told things like "My sister smoked and her baby was fine" or "The placenta is a barrier."

For some people, the information is not available to them. It could be this woman knew drug use was wrong and dangerous, but many women don't know. They know it's illegal, but they have no idea what kind of harm it can cause.
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#138 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:29 PM
 
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I agree the hospital workers should be held liable, too. If a teacher suspects abuse and doesn't report it, they can and do get in trouble for it... especially if something happens to the child. That's why there's so many false reports of abuse made to CPS... teachers covering their own asses.

I never said there shouldn't be compassion for her. I don't believe she should be charged with everything they are charging her with. But, I stick by my original point which you and I both agree on... if she truly was abusing alcohol and cocaine she should be charged with something.

We're saying basically the same thing I think. I don't see any point in arguing whether the boards are periwinkle or pale purplish blue.
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#139 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:33 PM
 
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She had no intention of parenting them at all.
OnTheFence-- Perhaps, in deciding to give the babies up for adoption, she was making the best parenting decision that she was able. Could we at least give her credit for that?

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#140 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:38 PM
 
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Question for those of you that support this prosecution. Let's look at the list of contributing factors and you tell me which ones justify a charge of Murder One, so that in the future we know who should be prosecuted for having a stillbirth.
Quote:
She was born to a mentally retarded mother.
She suffered from ODD, and possibly bipolar disorder most likely as a result of how she was raised.
She's had many tragedies in her life.
She's had multiple partners, has had several kids and has custody of none.
She's very low income.
She refused a cesarean citing vanity reasons.
She claims nobody talked to her about getting a cesarean.
She was planning on giving the twins up for adoption, and they implied she neglected the health of the babies because she wasn't going to keep them anyways.
She had a cigarette when she was told one of the twins died.
The baby(ies) tested positive for cocaine and alcohol.
So... are we going to prosecute all drug using mothers or only those whose babies die? Should we prosecute the ones with live births for attempted murder?

What about the mentally ill? Is that a prosecutable offense or only if you use drugs also?

What if she hasn't got any of those strikes... mentally sound, no drugs... just refuses doctors advice and her baby dies? Jail or no?

And no, I am not being facetious. I don't like a single thing about this precedence and i have said why. You support it, so I am curious... exactly what precedence do you support?
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#141 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Journey
I agree the hospital workers should be held liable, too. If a teacher suspects abuse and doesn't report it, they can and do get in trouble for it... especially if something happens to the child. That's why there's so many false reports of abuse made to CPS... teachers covering their own asses.

I never said there shouldn't be compassion for her. I don't believe she should be charged with everything they are charging her with. But, I stick by my original point which you and I both agree on... if she truly was abusing alcohol and cocaine she should be charged with something.

We're saying basically the same thing I think. I don't see any point in arguing whether the boards are periwinkle or pale purplish blue.
Yeah, I used your quote to argue with OTF anyway. :LOL

Someone should have known she was using, someone should have made sure she knew it was dangerous, someone should have gotten her help before this happened-- I mean-- this is what basic prenatal care is all about for goodness' sake!
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#142 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:40 PM
 
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Drug abuse... charge her.

Mental illness with drug abuse... charge her (ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law)

Even if baby doesn't die... charge her

Refusing cesarean, or medical treatment... don't charge her.

Edited to add when I said ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law... I meant those who are mentally ill and aren't aware of the dangers their actions post should not be exempt from the laws that we all are supposed to obey. At least in the United States it states that not being aware of the law or the consequences of your action is not an excuse that can hold up in court. All should be held accountable regardless of their mental status.
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#143 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by kama'aina mama
Question for those of you that support this prosecution. Let's look at the list of contributing factors and you tell me which ones justify a charge of Murder One, so that in the future we know who should be prosecuted for having a stillbirth.


So... are we going to prosecute all drug using mothers or only those whose babies die? Should we prosecute the ones with live births for attempted murder?

What about the mentally ill? Is that a prosecutable offense or only if you use drugs also?

What if she hasn't got any of those strikes... mentally sound, no drugs... just refuses doctors advice and her baby dies? Jail or no?

And no, I am not being facetious. I don't like a single thing about this precedence and i have said why. You support it, so I am curious... exactly what precedence do you support?
Thank you ma'am, you are well spoken and brilliant.
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#144 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:41 PM
 
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ITA, veganmama!
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#145 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:42 PM
 
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Originally posted by veganmamma

OTF, I'm sorry, but your harsh mentality towards the mentally ill and drug addicted is what leads to these cases in the first place. I don't mean that as an attack. This harsh way of thinking, no compassion for drug addicts scares me so much. My father died of alcoholism. His disease was no different from hers, except his life circumstances were a lot better than hers. I have a lot of compassion for my dad. His disease alienated him from his only child, he died a horrible, horrible death. He made bad decisions like driving me places while he was drunk- even getting a DUI with me in the car, he was not the father he wanted to be, not the man he wanted to be. The last two were the worst punishments for him I think. I forgive him for having a disease. I forgive him for having depression, a mental illness. I forgive all of his bad choices that put me in terrible positions. I forgive him because knowing that he had a problem, and wanting to change weren't enough to dig him out of his hole. This woman is no different from him in many ways.

I have compassion for her. Where were all of us when she needed help? Where were we with her first two cesareans? Where were we when she was born to a mentally disabled woman? Where have we been all her life to help her heal from her diseases BEFORE she had children who would be injured as a result?

Now we want to sit in judgement of her actions? It is disgusting, IMO. It is a sickness of our society. We weren't compassionate before this happened and we didn't help prevent this baby's death by helping this woman, and now we aren't compassionate to her now that her diseases have hurt even more people in her life that she may love very much, or woul dhave loved were she not mentally ill.
I have a son who has early onset bipolar disorder and has FAE because of his birth mother. Harsh mentality? Do you live with me? Are you parenting or living with a drug affected, alcohol affected, mentally ill child? I am.
I dont have compassion for HER. Don't lump her in with everyone else. Don't put words in my mouth or try to assume how I treat people with mental illness or addictions. You really have no clue.
I have no compassion for people who do not take responsibility for their actions, keep repeating the cycle, and then take their irresponsibility and place it on their children (unborn ones too)
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#146 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:43 PM
 
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Originally posted by Journey
Mental illness with drug abuse... charge her (ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law)
Meantal illness doesn't mean she didn't know drug use is illegal, what it means is that she may not have had the capacity to understand the reprocussions of her drug use or any other risky behavior. That is why I think mental illness is a good reason to think about not charging her for risky behavior.
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#147 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:45 PM
 
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Originally posted by Greaseball
It's hard to believe, but there are some people who are so completely ignorant about drug use and pregnancy. They are told things like "My sister smoked and her baby was fine" or "The placenta is a barrier."

For some people, the information is not available to them. It could be this woman knew drug use was wrong and dangerous, but many women don't know. They know it's illegal, but they have no idea what kind of harm it can cause.
I would have to say that if people are not aware of this they are either completely stupid or cant read. I have driven up and down the countryside and see signs about drugs, alcohol and smoking and the effects on pregnancy. March of Dimes has signs everywhere, including health departments, WIC office, food stamp office, etc. There are even commercials on TV. ITs even printed on the alchohol and cig labels.
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#148 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:45 PM
 
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I edited my post while you were posting this, veganmama!
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#149 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:48 PM
 
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Where was the state BEFORE this woman got pregnant?
And what about treatment? Should it be forced?

Is is okay to medicate someone against their will? In some states, if you are mentally ill, and on psychiatric drugs, you can be legally forced back on them- even if you think you no longer need them.

Is it okay to force someone into therapy? Does therapy work under these conditions?

Is it okay to admit someone/ detain someone against their will?

How do mandatory reporters fit into driving "at risk" women underground?

How do we decide who has done enough research to make an "informed" decision? Where does intuition, and gut feelings come into play?

I'm not attacking anyone...I'm just asking questions that occurred to me, that I have no answer for.

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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#150 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 10:49 PM
 
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Jumping in here a bit late, however, I've read it all... articles and posts.
My main thought, like another post stated: Medical treatment should be a choice.

Opinionated Mama to dd 2/23/03, ds 3/20/05 hbac, dd 1/23/08 2hbac, and baby #4 due in June 2010!
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