Woman charged with murder after refusing C-section - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.cbc.ca/cp/world/040311/w031170.html

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Prosecutors said Melissa Ann Rowland, 28, didn't want the scars that accompany the surgery. An autopsy found that the baby died two days before its Jan. 13 delivery and that it would have survived if Rowland had had a C-section when her doctors urged her to, between Christmas and Jan. 9. The other baby is alive, but authorities had no further information.
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#2 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 10:34 PM
 
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Need more info to make sense of this... Her body before her children? Hmmmm.... I just don't know.
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#3 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 10:37 PM
 
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A nurse told police that Rowland said a caesarean would "ruin her life" and she would rather "lose one of the babies than be cut like that."
I don't know what to say other than she didn't deserve those babies, or she's one messed up woman.
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#4 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 10:38 PM
 
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wow. That is just.......... I don't have words here.

If her only concern was a scar, then she's a pretty messed up woman. As in, I would have recommended a psych eval.

But I don't necessarily believe the words of a hospital representative who may just be vengeful.

And murder charges seem excessive. I think they'll reduce it to negligent homicide or something.

The mom sounds like she might be a little
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#5 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 10:48 PM
 
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I agree with you on that on Elphaba... I'm just wondering what the WHOLE story is...
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#6 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 10:52 PM
 
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Here's my local new link. http://beta.kpix.com/news/ap/APTV/Na...harged-aa.html
I came on to post this. I seriously doubt her only objection was the scar. It makes me ill that it is possible for them to do this to her. Now women who have good reasons to refuse cesarean will be terrified to do so. This woman may have had a good reason too. I can't say what I would do in her situation, but it's possible I would have refused a c/s myself.

The precedent has now been set for court ordered cesarean, now it is set for prosecution for women who refuse cesareans. It makes me so afraid of how they will try to take over our births and our bodies next.

So now if this woman goes to jail her other baby loses its mother. Can't see how it is helping anyone.
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#7 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 10:52 PM
 
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Wow. What an incredibly sad story.
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#8 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 10:54 PM
 
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There's still gotta be more to the story than what is being said.
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#9 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 11:00 PM
 
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I read the story three times and finally found what was bugging me.
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An autopsy found the baby died two days before its Jan. 13 delivery and that it would have survived if Rowland had had a C-section when her doctors urged her to, between Christmas and Jan. 9.
They can't prove that. Not by a long shot. Sometimes the drugs they give for surgery can be enough to kill a weak baby. And sometimes the baby is simply to sick to save. Even if they know what the baby died of (which they don't say one way or another) they can't prove they could have saved him/her.
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#10 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 11:01 PM
 
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i'm sorry, but you simply cannot legitimately force a human being to have their body cut open. that's just insane.
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#11 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 11:01 PM
 
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Originally posted by veganmamma

The precedent has now been set for court ordered cesarean, now it is set for prosecution for women who refuse cesareans. It makes me so afraid of how they will try to take over our births and our bodies next.
That's what I was thinking. I don't like what she did.....if that's the whole story.....but now they will try to control everyone and that is NOT good.
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#12 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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veganmama and AnnMarie. That's my fear too. I just saw a clip on the local news commercial. They'll talk more about it in a couple hours. So I poked around and found that news article.
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#13 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 11:08 PM
 
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I read about this on another board. What none of the news story say is WHAT the medical concerns were at the time that the fetus was still alive. What did the doctors say to her? There's a huge difference between saying, "You need a c-section because:

--the babies are too big to deliver vaginally

--one is breech

--you have preeclampsia

--there's a leak in the amniotic fluid

--we're finding very low heart tones on twin B

and so on.

Although the news stories make it sound like she was being vain and didn't want the scars, if you read exactly what they quote, it sounds like she was more terrified than anything of being cut open.

She's clearly unstable and obviously didn't have any support--unless a homebirth or other type of midwife was part of her birthing plans but wasn't mentioned. We don't know the whole story and I, for one, don't like how this has been approached in the media. Too much sensation, too few facts.

I'm so sad for that dead baby, though, and I worry for the little one who lived.
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#14 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 11:15 PM
 
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A pregnant woman who allegedly ignored medical warnings to have a Caesarean section to save her twins was charged Thursday with murder after one of the babies was stillborn.

This is what bugs me. How often do doctors play the dead baby card, trying to convince moms they need caesareans. If the mom refuses and has a healthy baby, do they rethink their recommendations? No, the mom is just foolish and lucky. My OB told me that the only reasons that so many homebirths turn out OK is because they would have been OK anyway. : If OBs stopped crying wolf, maybe people would take it more seriously, but often it seems like a lawsuit protection, so maybe the doctors are between a rock and a hard place.

Now in this case it sounds like a c-section would have been her best option, but the idea that all medical warnings for c-sections should be heeded is ludicrous.

from the CBC news article: The same day, Rowland allegedly saw a nurse at another hospital, saying she had left LDS Hospital because the doctor wanted to cut her "from breast bone to pubic bone," a procedure she said would "ruin her life." The nurse also told investigators that Rowland said she would rather "lose one of her babies than be cut like that."

It sounds like her fears were more than cosmetic, but it is still sad.
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#15 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 11:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by veganmamma
Here's my local new link. http://beta.kpix.com/news/ap/APTV/Na...harged-aa.html
I came on to post this. I seriously doubt her only objection was the scar. It makes me ill that it is possible for them to do this to her. Now women who have good reasons to refuse cesarean will be terrified to do so. This woman may have had a good reason too. I can't say what I would do in her situation, but it's possible I would have refused a c/s myself.

The precedent has now been set for court ordered cesarean, now it is set for prosecution for women who refuse cesareans. It makes me so afraid of how they will try to take over our births and our bodies next.

So now if this woman goes to jail her other baby loses its mother. Can't see how it is helping anyone.
My thoughts exactly. This isn't a court issue IMO. They don't know for sure that the baby would have lived had it been delivered earlier. Anything could happen (I didn't read the article, so forgive me if I make no sense).

I could go on and on about the law, courts, and insurance companies, but this isn't the place. It's so so sad.
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#16 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 11:42 PM
 
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Um, can anyone say for sure what her reasons were? I am not likely to believe the prosecution when they say it was about the scars. I don't like it that people are judging her based on that. Think about all of the women we know and respect who refuse doctor advised C-sections because they believe strongly in natural birth; in some people's minds that seems just as irresponsible as not wanting a scar. Like PPs have said, maybe the doctors were advising for reasons none of us would have accepted. I know if someone had told me to have a section with my baby I would have refused.

I don't like this for many reasons not the least of which is the fact that I am pro-choice and by choice I mean ALL choices. What is next? Under that state's laws fetuses at all stages of development are protected under law. Does that mean women who undergo first trimester terminations are to be prosectuted?

I would like to hear it from the mother's mouth before I judge her decision.

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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#17 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 11:46 PM
 
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Originally posted by Sheena
Um, can anyone say for sure what her reasons were?
is that really the issue here? we're talking about massively invasive surgery. i don't see what difference her reason makes, civilized societies simply do not cut open the bodies of their citizens without willing consent.
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#18 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 11:51 PM
 
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SHE SHOULD NOT BE CHARGED WITH MURDER!

This is insane.

If anyone finds anymore information on this will you let me know. I cannot sit at home on this one. I will go to Salt Lake City and protest with my twins if I have to.

Anyone up for a protest with me? Letter writing? Bombarding with phone calls?

This is INSANITY!
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#19 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 11:53 PM
 
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I agree that this is insane. I am sure the mother is allready feeling horrible over her decision, whether she should be or not. I'd really like to see a doctor guarantee that that baby would have lived. Sick. Just SICK!
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#20 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 11:54 PM
 
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I would REALLY hope it was not for cosmetic reasons...I would be very concerned if it was.

Speaking as a mother as a stillborn baby, I cannot imagine the pain and agony of losing a child and then being charged for it...I mean if you get too crazy with that line of thought...I could be charged because I started off with a homebirth and Adia was gone by the time the dr in the hospital got to us So if one was super medically minded I am sure you can do a correlation of neglience on our side...which is bs in my opinion....

Yet on the other hand....if it was ALL because she didn't want to have a scar and the news reports are factual and not exagerrated....I am furious with the mother....why would you put a child at risk vs having a scar. Believe you me...I would have loved to have had a c-section if that meant my daughter would have survived, and the whole reason why I decided I wanted a homebirth was because I didn't want any dr to cut me open just because it was more convient...

Well I'll get off my soapbox

I am looking forward to more information...hopefully someone who really knows the truth.
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#21 of 357 Old 03-11-2004, 11:58 PM
 
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And what if one of my twins would have died? WOuld I now be faced with MURDER CHARGES b/c I trusted my gut?

They were both breech. Soren had serious comlplications and didn't breath for a long while. The midwives were amazing and there is NO guarantee that he would have lived in a hospital.

God is the author of life and death not the friggin' AMA.

I AM REALLY MAD about this.

REALLY FRIGGIN' MAD.

I have to go put the kids to bed. Someone PLEASE e-mail me more info and/or thoughts if you are so inclined. I am seriously getting involved in this but want to 1) COOL OFF and 2) do some research.

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#22 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 12:01 AM
 
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Is this woman in jail?

It sounds like she is. It sounds like they have taken the living baby's mama away to punish her for not obeying the almighty medical profession.

I am sick.
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#23 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 12:01 AM
 
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Like previous posters have said, it is impossible to say whether the babe would've lived, even if born at the "critical" time. I just don't know. Go hotmamacita...
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#24 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 12:05 AM
 
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It looks like she is in jail. I'm reading multiple sources that say bail has been posted at $250,000.

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

Can we set up a paypal account for her bail?
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#25 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 12:11 AM
 
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Is it really neccessary to charge the woman with murder even if it was over a scar? I think that is a frivolous reason not to want a c/sec, but I am pretty sure the woman is feeling badly enough over it as it is. Jail I'm sure can not compare to the pain she is feeling right now.

I'm not one for slippery slope theories, but I have to agree that this sets a dangerous precedent.

Can anyone find whether or not she has been bailed yet??
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#26 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 12:19 AM
 
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is that really the issue here? we're talking about massively invasive surgery. i don't see what difference her reason makes, civilized societies simply do not cut open the bodies of their citizens without willing consent.
That was kind of my point... did you read the rest of my post? Obviously I do not agree with forced surgery. My point was that it is most likely the prosecution is claiming that was her reason because it is obviously something that will rile up the general public.

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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#27 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 12:27 AM
 
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Originally posted by cat_astrophe
[B]Is it really neccessary to charge the woman with murder even if it was over a scar? I think that is a frivolous reason not to want a c/sec, but I am pretty sure the woman is feeling badly enough over it as it is. [b/]
So what? If she chose avoiding a scar over her baby's life (it was the autopsy that said that the baby had been alive 2 days before), why shouldn't she be punished? Is the degree of remorse the new standard for determining punishment of a person who causes another person's death?

I know there has to be more to this story... which is why I'm not willing to pass judgment on this woman. What it sounds like to me is that she was mentally disturbed and incapable of understanding that a c-section doesn't involve gutting a patient. And I'm also worried about the precedent that it would set.... but both ways. It would seriously disturb me if someone was able to have the option of ordering her baby's death 2 days before delivery for something so superficial as a scar.
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#28 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 12:37 AM
 
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Originally posted by Dragonfly
It would seriously disturb me if someone was able to have the option of ordering her baby's death 2 days before delivery for something so superficial as a scar.
yes, it would be disturbing. what would you suggest as a course of action? would you advocate a court-ordered surgery?
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#29 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 12:44 AM
 
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woa...what a tough issue...and of course it's even harder to decifer my opinion because news reports (especially short blerbs) are so sensationalized and leave so many questions!!!!!! From reading that article, it sounds like at all three hospitals she was advised three different times from three different sources that her twins were in jeopardy and needed to be delivered ASAP. That's not to say that the one twin who died would'nt have just lived for a few days and died....it's just one of those things no one knows. I wish they had said wether or not the twins were finally delivered via c-section or vaginal birth and wonder why (or if) she was offered an emergency induction to get the twins born, etc. I also wonder why they did not (or if they did) offer her couseling services, etc. It's strange because it appears that she did care about the health of her babies (she did go to three different hospitals, etc) but they did just keep saying in the article that she just didn't want to be cut....and if she did truly believe, as a pp said, that she was going to be cut from breast bone to pubic bone it sounds like she had some mental issues to deal with.
I am with you guys about the scare of if they do convict her that would set a precident for being prosecuted anytime you refuse a c-section your almighty doctor recomends...SCARY!!

Heidi : Married for 15 years, expecting our 8th baby in July!

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#30 of 357 Old 03-12-2004, 12:47 AM
 
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Dragonfly, she didn't order her baby's death. From what I've read, they already couldn't get the heartbeat on the monitor for one, and for two, ceasareans are very traumatic for babies and a baby on the brink of death may have died during the cesarean anyway. Regardless, women have the right to make medical decisions for themselves and their children, sometimes they make good decisions and sometimes bad. It could be that this child would have died anyway, and that may not be the case. Truthfully, they can't prove either way. I don't think anyone has the right to sit in judgement of this woman. I honestly cannot say that I would have chosen a c/s in her shoes. I would bet I am probably more educated than she is, but maybe not. Some nurse giving an anecdote is not grounds for criminal prosecution or conviction by the public.

This woman's living child needs her and I don't see how prosecuting hef helps anyone. It just spends tax dollars taking a mother away from her baby. If she had a BFing relationship with this child, I'm betting it will be over if she stays in jail much longer.

I wish I lived nearby, I'd have a vigil outside the county jail for this woman, even if it was over a scar.
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