I spoke with Hugh Chatham Memorial hospital in North Carolina today, and after a nurse in the baby center previously told me I could refuse the Vitamin K injection if I let them know beforehand, another nurse said after speaking to the hospital manager, that I could not refuse this, only the Hep B and if I was determined to not have it, I would have to deliver at another hospital. I am supposed to be induced in TWO days, now I have very little options unless I want to lose my doctor. My OB said he didn't think that sounded right, and he's behind me 100 percent, but he didn't know for sure and I'm wondering can they really force this on me, or refuse to deliver my baby if I don't comply? Everything I've read online says even if it IS a state law, which I don't think it is because I can't find anything online saying so, that I can submit a religious exemption which gives me the right to refuse any injection or testing because of the First Amendment of the US Constitution. My main fear is they will just tell me to leave for refusing, seeing as I am being induced and won't really be in labor when I first go in. Does anyone know if a hospital can do that? SO upset about this :(
You can refuse any treatment unless it is determined that you are mentally incompetent. Even in that case, you can be forced to be treated for only 72 hours and then there are needs to be a hearing.
Women have refused c-sections to the point of their children drying and hospital could not do anything.
There is no law in NC requiring the vitamin K shot. You do not have to submit a religious exemption. You can refuse any procedure for you or your baby with the exception of life saving emergency treatment.
That said, it sounds like it's hospital policy. It is standard practice in pretty much all hospitals although some may make it easier to opt out of than others. If you don't want your baby to get it, I'm not sure what your options are. I don't think they can refuse medical treatment to you though. You might just be in for a lot of bickering after the baby is born.
I'm curious about your reason for refusing it though given that you're being induced in a hospital.
I didn't start researching a lot of things until I was very far into the pregnancy, once I did I discovered how unnecessary this injection is, and possibly harmful. I know the chances of my baby having an adverse reaction are very slim, but why take the chance at all if I find it unnecessary? I do believe there is criteria for the injection, but should not be injected into every infant that is born. Not to mention the dosage is 20,000 more than recommended. It's all overkill, and I don't want her first moments of life tainted with a painful injection if nothing happens to denote it. Can I ask why giving birth in a hospital raised your question?
Oh maybe the reason for the induction? It's a complicated situation, in order to keep my doctor who I'm very comfortable with I have to travel out of state, so to keep from having to drive two hours in labor, I'm being induced a week early to keep that from happening.
I guess because I've always thought of refusing vitamin K to be on the rather extreme end of NCB which didn't really jibe with hospital induction in my head, so I was curious. Even the women that I know that birthed at the local birth center here chose to give vitamin K.
In case you haven't come across it in your research yet, there is the possibility of giving vitamin K orally over the course of the first few weeks and also for you to supplement if you're planning on breastfeeding. I've never done this myself as I chose to go with the injection, but there's lots of information out there about it. Maybe if you decided to do that and had a plan with your baby's pediatrician, the hospital might ease up. But maybe not.
That's a gross oversimplification to put it mildly. There are many other things to consider besides those two issues. Newborns with low levels of vitamin K are at risk for bleeding several months after birth. Actually, early onset of hemorrhagic disease is less common. It usually occurs several weeks to a couple of months later (I've read five weeks on average).
Breastfed infants are at significantly higher risk (I've read they account for 90% of cases). Children with gastric issues are at greater risk due to absorption issues.
Parents have the right to decline the shot, but they should do so with accurate information. That quote above is not accurate. I hope everyone researches the issue thoroughly before deciding.
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