As far as I'm concerned, stripping your membranes (or doing any non-emergency procedure) without your consent is totally wrong. The only time I think it's okay for a doctor to do something without your consent is when it's a dead emergency and they don't have time to get consent because they have to save your life. Any other circumstance, they need to ask. That you're a rape survivor, and that she talked to your sister about it, is just icing on the cake. Even if those factors weren't in play, it's still wrong of her. And there is nothing wrong with being sensitive. You are entitled to your feelings and nobody should tell you that your feelings are not valid.
I suspect that once you let yourself feel that yes, the way she treated you was NOT appropriate and you ARE entitled to be upset, that'll help start you on the path to healing.
Best of luck.
Does yoour sister work for this doctor? In a capacity that this conversation would have taken place as part of her job duties? If not the doctor violated federal privacy laws (Hippa) and needs to be reported for that. The nurses in my ob office won't even talk to my husband without asking me if it is okay first. (Just looked and this file needs to be done within 180 days so you probably need to do it asap.)
I would also consider filing a complaint about the membrane stripping. I probably would have considered kicking her right then and their, it does hurt. She would have had my husband to deal with too.
Well, I think the doctor was totally wrong, in a couple of ways here--notably the stripping and talking to your sister after the fact.
But... I also don't think it's helping you to dwell on it.
And I don't think you can blame the doctor for your mother being callous and rude. I can't imagine that anything said by the dr to your sister really made any difference with your mother's attitude. It sounds like her attitude toward you is in her personality and your relationship, and anyone saying that you were "too sensitive" would lead to your mother agreeing with them and being rude to you.
First, decide if it's worth sending a formal complaint against the doctor, and maybe even your sister, since she's a medical professional as well. Find out if and what they've violated in HIPPA. Find out what the complaint process is.
Then, I might write a letter to every person you feel wronged you here--ob, mother, sister--that you don't intend to mail. Then perhaps write a short, concise letter (a quarter or less of what you've written here), outlining that the doctor should not have talked to your sister without your consent, and should not have stripped membranes without permission. Tell them that you will not be recommending nor using their services in the future. That letter I would mail.
The issues with your mother and sister are a whole different situation, but I think I'd start with the OB and your private feelings and see how you feel in a few months.
Book loving, editor mom to 2
This is definitely not an "if" situation with regard to HIPAA. The law is very clear about this. It doesn't matter if her sister is her sister or just some random other person. You absolutely may not discuss patients with people who are not involved in their care, whether they are their relatives or not and whether they are other medical professionals or not. Whether or not HIPAA has been violated in this case is NOT, under ANY circumstances, in question. It absolutely was. The doctor broke the law, not just some minor code of ethics. It's a BIG, BIG deal.
This is definitely not an "if" situation with regard to HIPAA. The law is very clear about this. It doesn't matter if her sister is her sister or just some random other person. You absolutely may not discuss patients wi
th people who are not involved in their care, whether they are their relatives or not and whether they are other medical professionals or not. Whether or not HIPAA has been violated in this case is NOT, under ANY circumstances, in question. It absolutely was. The doctor broke the law, not just some minor code of ethics. It's a BIG, BIG deal.
I guess I'm not clear on exactly what the doctor did or said and what the sister did or said. The first question to me would be if HIPPA was violated by the doctor.
Book loving, editor mom to 2
your story has really stuck with me.
I don't feel you are oversensitive to this AT ALL! It isn't like the Dr. wasn't aware of your background, you told her FLAT out in the beginning.
The Dr. preformed a medical procedure Without your Okay, and when you said NO, she kept doing it. This is NOT okay in any way shape or form.
And then to violate HIPPA!?! not cool in the least.
Letters need to be written ASAP, CC to the dr, her supervisor, the Head of the Dept. on up. I would also report her for the HIPPA violation.
You are well within your rights as a HUMAN to own your feelings. It is not something small like a splinter, this was a violation of trust and from a care provider, even worse.
From the OP:
It doesn't matter "exactly" what the doctor did or said! She talked about a patient to someone who was not involved in the patient's care, and gave enough information that this someone, who just happened to be the patient's sister, knew who she was talking about.You can't just go around talking about patients' private information to people. That's a violation of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act - two As, not two Ps...common mistake :) ).It doesn't matter who it was she talked to or exactly what she said. The only thing that matters is that she discussed a patient with someone who isn't providing care to that patient, giving enough identifying information that this other person was able to connect the information with the patient. It's illegal, and YES, HIPAA was violated by the doctor. I'm not sure what you believe it takes to violate health care privacy laws, but discussing someone's reaction to a treatment is definitely a violation. If the OP's sister had brought it up, the doctor should have refused to talk about it at all. That's how HIPAA works. You don't talk about patients to people. The only way this could possibly NOT have been illegal is if the doctor didn't say anything at all and the sister is lying.
I just want to say how sorry I am about what happened to you. Violation of informed consent and of patient confidentiality are very big issues, and you are in no way over-reacting - and that is without your own personal past trauma and completely natural reaction linked to this. Let alone the family issues! You poor thing, so much going on on top of having a new baby...
This is definitely an issue where the OB should be reported, and I would strongly encourage you to do so, especially given the deadline with HIPAA. On the other hand, I know that sometimes reporting these things can end up adding to the trauma, and sometimes people feel unable to do so, and that also is completely within your rights. You need to decide if you feel capable, and if the benefits (justice, possible closure for you, hopefully preventing the OB repeating this kind of thing) outweigh any negative feelings it might (or might not, I don't know) bring up in you. It's good that your husband is supportive and sounds like he would help you with this.
I also think it might be worth seeking some kind of counseling. If you are really having trouble getting past this, then that is what help is for! I don't know if you had any kind of therapy to help you process your rape, but especially if that was useful for you I would really recommend getting some professional help to sort out your emotions. This might help you find ways to deal with your family too.
I really hope you find a way through this, and I urge you to at the very least not feel that you are responding inappropriately or disproportionately. As you can see from the responses here, I think most people in your position would feel very similarly - I know I would be furious!
thanks for your reply - i am leaning towards trying to file a formal complaint - so intimidating - guess if it goes through i'll have to testify or something in front of the doctor - yikes - i never want to see this woman again! my sister is not my friend - she was complaining to me that this doctor was taking up HER appointment time to go out of her way and talk about how over-reactive i was being and she was thinking it was wasting her time - my sister wouldn't bring it up with her bring me up - she simply does not care - thanks yes so it is HIPAA :) thank you for your reply - i feel like i just put such a sobbing rambling out there and everybody put justification into my feelings - thank you so much! xo
Then discussing you with your sister? Not only is it rude and terrible, it is illegal.
So again, you are not overreacting at all. I would sit down and decide what you want to do, what will be best for you. If that means filing legal action, filing a complaint, etc. but find the best thing to do or decide to let it go.
And your mom, I'm so sorry she wasn't supportive of you. Do you have other family or friends who you could get the support you need and deserve? I'm so sorry and a big congratulations on your beautiful baby!
Katie - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13
I am so sorry you went through this. The OB that delivered my son did and said some insensitive and un-aprroved things during his birth and I just couldn't bring myself to work on the complaint letter until he was about 7 months old. When I finally did it, getting the response back was a healpful thing. Even if nothing distinct ever came of it, I felt like I had done my part to help this dr's boss know (and to let the dr know) so that perhaps other women could have a better experience. I contemplated filing a compaint with the medical board and decided that for me that wasn't a fit, but it might be for you and is certainly within your rights.
Living more eco-friendly for less money
Success after loss and infertility! Joyful mom to two boys (1/11 and 8/12)
I feel for you. I had a similar situation that happened to me. I too am a rape survivor. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I got an abnormal Pap Smear early on that led them to do a colposcopy for me. I reluctantly agreed for a man to do it (I cringe at the thought of a man doing a medical - vaginal anything to me, but that's all they could offer me) and I agreed. However, he was very rough with me and even when I said things were hurting pretty badly, he just made some sarcastic-seeming comment about how it's not supposed to feel good. I had made very clear that I did not want a biopsy done because of the risk of miscarriage. I stressed before the procedure and then even at the start of the procedure that I did not want a biopsy. Guess what he did? A biopsy. He told me about it AFTER he did it. I said I had not consented to that, and what did he say? "That's why I didn't tell you as I was doing it." F him, just, really.
Luckily, there was no need for a follow up, and I never saw him again. But even years on this incident, well, it doesn't exactly haunt me, but it really BOTHERS me. Just in the sense that a care provider would put himself in god mode over his patient. It makes me sad to know that in your situation, there was a similar thing happening. And the HIPPA violations and ensuing family dynamics (and your somewhat unrelated mother's reaction) just are pretty bad as well. What can I say... the doctor was wrong, your sister was out of line, your mother was insensitive, and I'm sorry you went through it. I too would try to "get over it" for your own mental health, because, well, what else can you do? (Unless you wanted to make a formal complaint... which I think I should have done, in retrospect, in my case, and definitely you could do in yours). But other than that... well, I'm just sorry you had that experience.
I think you should ABSOLUTELY file formal complaints. Several of them. To as many places as possible.
But I'm the kind of person who gets a lot of closure and satisfaction out of getting back at people who do BAD THINGS.
In any case, that doctor was WRONG and BAD on so many levels, I don't even know where to start. I am so, so sorry. What she did should be illegal -- oh, wait, it IS illegal.
I can't believe she did that. Any of that. I'm so sorry you went through all of that.
I'd file a formal complaint. She violated your body and the HIPPA laws. She was way out of line.
I'm sorry you are still upset about this, but try to think of all the things you are happy about- your daughter is here and healthy and fine. It seems like you didnt get the birth experience you want, but ultimately, you got the result you wanted, right? There is a special forum for csection moms that might be helpful for you too.
You mom was out of line too- you didnt "cause" your c-section- dont let anyone tell you that.
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
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