Virginia State/Military hospitals vaxing - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-20-2004, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Disclaimer: I am not an anti-vaxer nor am I pro. We did DS on a delayed Japanese schedule (but we are stopping all vax's now) and plan on selectively vaxing this one on a very delayed schedule. DH has agreed to take it one vaccination at a time which I think makes sense

ANYWAY...

We are birthing in a military hospital overseas that follows Virginia State laws. At my last appointment my doc told me we couldn't waiver the eye goop because it was law and he would be liable. He refuses to not let us get it. I have been trying to find out of this is true. Can someone point me in the right direction?

I would also love to meet some other parents who have dealt with military hospitals, birth and vaxing... we are fighting with them about Vit K (its the injectable one) and Hep B right now. I don't know if I have it in me to fight much more about the Vit K but the Hep B I am definitely NOT letting them do.

My doc had the nerve to tell me he wanted to do it at 2 weeks. I said no to that as well and told him we would let him know if/when we decided to do that shot.

Anyway, I know they threatened me with no command sponsorship when DH and I married and I refused the shots they wanted to give me... could they do this with our children as well? Anyone know?

Guess I am just looking for some support... but more info about Virginia/Military laws would also be great

TIA!

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Old 05-20-2004, 12:47 PM
 
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I do know VA has a religious exemption. The thing w/ exemptions is that they're not good, from my understanding, for children who are selectively vaxed (unless they are done w/ their vaxes). I don't see why your DR simply can't make a waiver saying you are refusing the eye meds and will not hold him responsible for anything that happens etc. Or make him sign a paper saying if you get the eye drops and babies eyes turn red, has an allergic reaction, or gets blocked tear ducts, you WILL hold him responsible and sue or something, I don't know. I doubt he'll sign it and maybe that will get your point across and he'll give in. As growing up military, I know how they like to use bullying tactics whether it's true what they're saying or not. Good luck and I hope someone else can help you more! Where are you moving btw or where do you live?

Jennifer, LPN and nursing student, Doula, CPST, and VBAC mama x3 to
AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), Olivia (2/09), and Unity (8/2012)

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Old 05-21-2004, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are in Sicily now. My doc had no problem with the no eye goop when we first went over the birth plan but the next week he said he looked into it more to see if there was a waiver we were supposed to sign and he was told by his superiors that the hospital follows Virginia State laws which says that the eye goop is mandatory AT ALL BIRTHS.

He went on to say that because of that he wasn't going to be legally responsible and would not let us NOT get the eye goop.

As far as I know you can't sue military medical care if something goes wrong anyway... (or maybe DH can't but I can?) but he said he would be held liable and he wasn't willing to risk that.

He is trying to scare us into get Vit K shot as well... He had his first child at a birth center and they had no shots or eye goop or anything. Said it was his wife's favourite birth... "But this was before I became a doctor and knew the risks."

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Old 05-21-2004, 09:52 AM
 
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I don't know about the Vit K and eye stuff. It is mandatory in some states, and you have to find a midwife who is willing to "forget" or "miss" in order to avoid them. I don't know if this is the case in Virginia.

Second, arguing with the doctor is pointless. You aren't going to change his mind. Is there any way for you to switch doctors? Is civilian care an option for you? I know nothing about homebirth in Italy. Regardless of what they might tell you, you CAN have a homebirth even if your husband is military and you live in base housing. If you want more advice on that, let me know.

Unfortunately, the vaccines could compromise your command sponsorship. They could refuse a medical clearance for the baby, but I think they would be hard-pressed to do that for refusing the Hep B vaccine. Many doctors do NOT routinely give it to infants even though this is reccommended by the CDC.

My baby isn't vaccinated at all and won't be until at least a year, and my 2yo has been selectively/delayed vaccinated. We got command sponsorship to Hawaii by having a civilian doc sign something saying that all of our vaccinations are 'current', which they are, according to us. I don't know how much civilian care would help you, though, if they already have an eye on you.
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Old 05-22-2004, 02:07 PM
 
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It is hard to have a delayed/non-vaccinating child when you're in the military. I was also told that DS had to have the eye goop, Vit K shot, etc. I refused to do the Hep B though, said I'd do it at his 2 week appt(never did though) I was also held hostage in the hospital until I had another MMR vaccine(even though I'd previously had 2 within the last 6 years, and I was still being shown as non-immune to german measles, I'm convinced I just won't hold that titre)

What I did was use Dr. Cave's book, and just gave my youngest the HiB and IPV shots at this 2 month well baby. Supposed to go get the other 2 month shots at 3 months, never did. We ended up moving back home(dh was going to Korea) when DS was 5 months, but I also "missed"(on purpose) his 4 month so I didn't have to deal with the questions. I only gave him the HiB and IPV at 2 months to keep the dr from calling CPS on me(something they do in the military)

Now he's 22 months old, and has still only had the HiB and the IPV. I will be starting to vaccinate him again when he's 2, one shot at a time. DH is now retired from the military, so that isn't a problem anymore.

The birth? Well, luckily I was only in labor for 6 hours, with only 3 of that in the hospital, so that wasn't a problem. But, I wanted to push while laying on my side, and I wasn't allowed too. We did have mandatory rooming in, but I had to bring the baby to the nursery for awhile every morning for the check up. Make sure you put in your birth plan that as soon as you are in recovery, you want to have the baby with you to breastfeed. I forgot that part, and I didn't get DS again until he was about 5 hours old, but then the initial alertness had worn off, and he had problems latching on for the rest of the tiem we were in the hospital. Once we got home, he was fine.

Don't let them bully you into an epidural. They tried that on me, and I was 7cm when I got there!
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Old 05-22-2004, 02:48 PM
 
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I would ask him to prove that the hospital actually follows those laws. I don't understand why a hospital in Sicily would follow Virgninia laws, what makes them pick that state out of all the us?

We are military also but I've never had a problem with not vaxing, but I've always just told them we are still delaying and we haven't had to deal with going overseas. As for the hospital, I picked my battles I let her have the eye goop and the vitk but if I knew better about vit K I would have declined it . The eye goop I figured couldn't hurt because the place was full of germs, the bathroom in my room was gross and I asked and was told they don't clean them all that often! geeze in a maturnity floor??

They do try and push the epidural, at least at night if they are understaffed, I think they want to slow down your labor so that it's easier for them. Otherwise they weren't horrible to us.
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Old 05-22-2004, 02:49 PM
 
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Ok, I live in VA. You have the right to waive the Hep B when you go to the pre-admin paperwork. It is perfectly acceptable to wait, look up the vac schedule for VA (i'm not sure, but I think it is 2 months.)

As for the vit k and eye stuff, I do not know if you can waive it. I didn't even think about it with the first two (hospital c/s), and my 3rd was born at home where I didn't have to worry about it.

VA religious exemption is a no questions asked exemption form, meaning you do not have to defend your position. Available within the Virginia Code http://leg1.state.va.us/000/src.htm (look under religious exemption, it's part of the education code) I can't locate the form right now, PM me if you need it or can't find it and I'll look again. I just printed it out 2 days ago.

You can also under VA code exempt your child from a physical exam section22.1-270 part D. You can write your own letter stating to the best of your knowledge your child is in good health free from communicalbe or contagious disease.

If they want to say they are under VA law, you find back with VA law! I don't know how much time you have, but I hope this helps.

As a former military dependent, I know that their laws do not apply to you, you are not the military member. How you fight this overseas, I do not know. I met my husband overseas and since my parents had vac me, there were not issues for me being com sp.

You can give birth at home in the US on a military base and there is nothing illegal about doing so. I just met a military doctor's wife who is a doctor herself and she gave birth to all 9 at home with lay midwives which are not lic to practice in VA. They live on base in VA.

You could seek out alternatives within the host country for birthing. Find a wife from country to help you. Naturalization paperwork is easy enough at the US embassy. And you can probably find a host nation doctor who will sign off on vacc.

Keep us posted here at Mothering.com

Best to you,

After thought --- it's pointless to even try to sue mil docs, I don't know as if you can. You can voice complaints to the General in charge fo the hospital. You might be able to go to the General and state you case and offer to put in writing you won't hold the hospital responsible etc. Check with hubby first though, what you do overseas can affect how is command handles him and his promotions. I went above my husband's command on somthing and he got repremanded about it (he didn't care really, but I felt badly.)
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Old 05-23-2004, 03:04 PM
 
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Any doctor who tells you that it is the law and you cannot refuse it, ask to see a copy of that law. Ask for chapter, section, and verse. There should be a waiver and usually is.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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Old 05-23-2004, 07:29 PM
 
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Yes, you can sue the military, they're just like any other DR, it's just a little more difficult. My parents had friends when we were stationed in Germany who's dd needed an operation on her leg (I think it was to be amputated or something), well, they operated on the wrong leg! This left her in a wheelchair and they sued big time. So, yes, it can be done. If you can't sue, why is he so worried about covering his butt?

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AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), Olivia (2/09), and Unity (8/2012)

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Old 05-25-2004, 02:26 PM
 
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You can sue, it's a lot harder to find a lawyer that will touch the case but it can be done. Someone I know had a csection with her 3rd child and signed all the forms to get her tubes tied at the same time. So she assumed they tied her tubes, they never did but they didn't tell her they didn't, she got pregnant about a year or so later and went back over her medical records and found out they never did it. She sued the doctor.
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Old 05-26-2004, 04:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the advice ladies!

I am going in for my 36 week appt. on Thursday and will be talking more about the eye goop and Vit. K "law". Truthfully, I would rather give up fighting that and just make sure baby doesn't get the Hep B at birth. I am thinking about telling them we will talk about that shot at the two month well baby, wait until baby is put on DH's page 2 and then saying no to it. It's not really honest but I don't really care.

I can't use a civilian doctor unless we want to pay a lot of money out of pocket and there isn't anyone who speaks English who isn't several hours away. Tricare has to approve every single thing out here off base and they would NOT say yes to me seeing a civlian doc if it can be done here. With the exchange rate from Euro to dollar... ouch that would be harsh.

I have no clue why we would use the Virginia State laws... I am going to have to ask about that and I will ask to see a copy of the law. I just don't want to rock the boat too much and stand out so they have my eye on me.

The birth, I am only worried if my doctor doesn't deliver this baby. He had two of his children in birth centers with midwives and he knows what kind of birth I want so I trust him more than the others. My birth plan is so freaking detailed and DH is instructed to make every single corpsman and nurse read it before they attend the birth. My experience with DS was awful (military hospital in Japan... I so wish we had just spent the money to go to a birth center there. I can speak Japanese and it would have been much better) and we are trying to be extra careful this time around.

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Old 05-26-2004, 03:04 PM
 
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Best wishes to you. Just remember they can't make you do anything, you are not the military member. They can send you back stateside, but not in your condition. So, they are stuck with you until the baby is born.
Having been a military spouse overseas, I'd take my chances of being sent back stateside to fight for what I know is best for my baby. A woman in labor demanding things is less likely to be sent back for such behavior than a woman not in labor -- use it, even if you labor well.
I do think the Hep B hold off is a very good tactic. I lie, I'm not proud of the fact, but I do it to avoid conflict.
(oops, I had him/ her at home is always an option)
Again, best wishes to you and your expanding family.
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Old 05-28-2004, 05:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to let you know we are being forced to do the eye goop and Vit. K shot at the hospital. The CO of the hospital ordered it so. Just found out yesterday.

But I have the doctor's promise that Hep B WILL NOT be administered at birth. Dh is under orders to make sure every corpsman and nurse that attends the birth knows this.

Here's hoping baby doesn't develop jaunice! They have a habit at this hospital to push formula on the jaundiced babies (and there are a lot... why do you think that is?) but luckily not my doc. So as long as he is around we should be ok.

Thanks for all the advice and support!

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Old 05-28-2004, 05:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamapixie
The birth? Well, luckily I was only in labor for 6 hours, with only 3 of that in the hospital, so that wasn't a problem. But, I wanted to push while laying on my side, and I wasn't allowed too. We did have mandatory rooming in, but I had to bring the baby to the nursery for awhile every morning for the check up. Make sure you put in your birth plan that as soon as you are in recovery, you want to have the baby with you to breastfeed. I forgot that part, and I didn't get DS again until he was about 5 hours old, but then the initial alertness had worn off, and he had problems latching on for the rest of the tiem we were in the hospital. Once we got home, he was fine.

Don't let them bully you into an epidural. They tried that on me, and I was 7cm when I got there!
Just wanted to chime in and say that was very strange. I'be birthed in three military hospitals, at one they broke the bed down completly to where I was practically in a sitting up position(per my request). You are free to move in any position you want in labor, they were just being asses for some reason. You can even birth in the sqauting postion on fort irwin. Both fort irwin, and fort carson were very pro breastfeeding, for benning was not, took the LC hours and hours to come see me.
i really think it's just luck of the draw when it comes to military hospitals. You can delay any shot you want the only real thing they can do about it is stop you from signing your child up for post daycare or school and there are eevn ways around that. It is harder overseas since they vaxing americans is alot stricter over there. They can't make a woman in labor do anything they don't want to do except have the baby of course, just my experiance.
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Old 05-28-2004, 05:48 AM
 
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Kate, will they allow you to wait 8 days for vit k? Or will they let you wait at least the first 24 hrs as long as the birth isn't traumatic to the baby? (forceps etc..)

As for military hospitals in general, it all depends like jeca said. I had my girls at benning and the first time was worse than the second in some ways but better than others. It just happened to be who is on staff that night and who is willing to work with you or not. But they did break down the bed for me and they did let me push sitting up because I wanted to. It was other stuff that bugged me, like they asked me 400 times if I wanted the epi after I said no. So when I had my 2nd daughter there and they asked us (dh was in the room) if I was going to get an epi we both at the same time loudly said "NO" they never mentioned it again :LOL.
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