Court Ordered Bed Rest?

Lindsay - posted on 01/15/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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Yesterday, I was put on bed rest for the 2nd time this pregnancy. I hate it, but will do whatever might help this baby make it full-term. Today, I was searching the internet when I came across this article:



http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/...



A mother of 2 was told to go on bed rest at 25 weeks, when she showed signs of a threatened miscarriage. She refused, saying she had two toddlers to take care of and a job to go to. The doctor turned her into the state who then got a court order for her to be hospitalized for bed rest. 3 days later she had an emergnecy c-section and the baby was dead.



I am very torn about how I feel about this. Being 27 weeks, I will do whatever it takes (which includes lining up childcare for my toddler) to give this baby a good chance at being full-term. Why would you refuse to do something that could (no actual proof) save your baby's life? But yet, did the courts really have a right to mandate the bed rest? I don't think the mother or the court made good decisions in this case.



Thoughts?

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19 Comments

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Ashley - posted on 10/06/2012

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It's a very simple thing here, she wanted a second opinion and that is totally understandable. She had a right to a second opinion, but was denied that choice. Obviously if she was wanting that secon opinion she truly did care about her child, it's not that she didn't. But you must understand, she had two other children to feed too. This could mean losing her job and being unable to provide for any children at all. She deserved that second opinion in the very least, but was denied and ultimately bullied and forced into confinement by an apparently corrupt judiciary system.

Ashley - posted on 10/06/2012

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It's simple. There's very little evidence proving that bed rest actually helps get a baby to term, shown in this situation.



AND unfortunately not all mothers are able to lose their job to be able to go on bedrest when it's not totally warranted. My OB says, if you're going to miscarry there is just about nothing you can do except calm down. Best rest is old fashioned, may be my opinion. But it still stands.. you may have the means to put your child into someone else care, but for single mom of two working full time (or even more), I think it's the mother's decision to take into her hands. The fact that a physician would find it in his heart to FORCE a mother who is already obviously under duress, to be confined and basically put into a hospital jail with no other options should be prosecuted in and of itself. Any time you do something like this against a person's will it is only going to bring about bad effects. I'm not saying this caused her miscarriage to progress.. but it's likely. All in all this court ordered bed rest was not good for the woman's or her unborn baby's health.

Lindsay - posted on 01/16/2010

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I agree with you all that the court should not have intervened. From a legal prespective I think it was wrong to order her to bed rest.



I agree with Veronica, that I wish I knew her course of thought in refusing. Not knowing all the facts of her situation makes it difficult to form an opinion without involving emotion.



Thank you both for your input!

Jaime - posted on 01/15/2010

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I too enjoyed our friendly debate Veronica...I'm glad you could see it from another perspective. I respect your position on this and realize that you are someone in a similar position to her (being pregnant and having existing children), so it stands to reason that you would question her motives for refusing bed rest.

Veronica - posted on 01/15/2010

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Yes, stepping back and looking at it in whole - I do agree with you. And not being in her shoes, I dont' entirely know the exact story right down to the thoughts in her head. So, i guess its unfair of me to come to my conclusions about her.

For myself, i would have done otherwise, and i do understand that no one is like me and im not everyone else either.

And yes, i do disagree with court/county/state getting involved and intruding in on her the way they did. What it mainly comes down to for me, is why she refused - what did she consider, and mull over in her head, before she made this ultimate decision. That is what im the most curious about.



And in ALL situations - there are so many factors and considerations - not all things that are 'the same' have the same circumstance, background, morals, values, etc. etc. So, its hard to really make a stand and voice in the debate forum, because every single situation/scenerio varies from the next. We can go into abortion on this, we can go into people's rights, unborn/living children's rights -- etc. etc. but unless we know the exact story, the lady's thoughts, feelings, etc. - a debate about it, can almost entirely be worthless, as all we are ending up doing is telling others what is right and wrong - and that the way we see it - is and only is, til death do us part ;)



Thank you Jaime-Leigh for a healthy and good debate, I thought you brought up valid points, and waved me into thinking from a different perspective.

Jaime - posted on 01/15/2010

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I don't know that it would come to that point Veronica, because if the child lived, then the woman would love and care for it just as she has her other two...and just as she had in utero despite what everyone believes. I disagree that just because she refused bed rest, that she was negligent toward her unborn child...she did what she needed to do to get through that time. I doubt the decision came easy. And when I speak of fate, I am talking about the common course of things...in a typical pregnancy, it's very common to see a woman working at a job outside her home, while taking care of her existing children...so even though this woman was told by ONE doctor that she had a threatened miscarriage, she decided to go on with her life as usual. In the article it mentions that she was also in the works to get a second opinion from another doctor when the rug got pulled out from under her---so because one doctor disagreed with her choice to carry on her life as normal, she was to be forcibly detained in a hospital not of her choosing and all rights to make decisions for her unborn child were stripped from her. The end result, although sad, was likely...and I believe that is probably what helped make the decision for the woman...she made a choice and it was her right to do so. I guess I'm just baffled at the intrusion of the legal system into the rights of a pregnant woman...she could have aborted the fetus (albeit at an earlier date than 25wks) and faced less resistance than she did deciding against bed rest, so perhaps that's why I'm taken aback by the entire situation.



Edit: When I talk of disagreeing with negligence...I am referring to disagreeing with the courts/doctor, not you Veronica.

Veronica - posted on 01/15/2010

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I can understand your point of veiw too Jaime-Leigh -- however, I still would feel just as obligated to my unborn child, as i would to my existing children.

Especially if the child lived - how would i explain to them what i didnt do for them, but they lived anyways - because fate took a hand; Im not so sure they would feel all warm inside that i thought about their already living siblings as more important than them, a vulnerable growing life, that i had the power and the means to take care of with all that i had to give them.

Im trying to see it in different lights i guess...

Jaime - posted on 01/15/2010

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'Fetus' is the medically-accepted term for a baby growing in utero...I don't see how it's bothersome--albeit detached, it's surely not an offensive term. I don't mean to be insensitive to a fetus, I am just viewing this situation from a point of realism. That is not to say that everyone's points are not valid...they are however, emotionally-driven. Veronica I don't feel as though you were judging...I think you were tactful in how you presented your point-of-view, we just simply disagree and have done so amicably. Lindsay, I do very much see the point that you and others are making about wanting to do everything in your power to make sure your unborn is taken care of so that he/she will be born healthy. I honestly don't think that the woman in this situation was trying to be negligent of the unborn baby, but nonetheless she made the decision to put the needs of her existing children ahead of a possible third child...and I'm okay with that.

Lindsay - posted on 01/15/2010

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Jaime-Leigh, I just have to say it bothers me that you keep referring to the baby as a fetus. I realize the baby had not yet been born, but at 24weeks a baby is viable, and at 25 weeks it has an 80% chance of survival. That to me, is not a fetus, but a baby. Maybe it's just because I have a daughter who was born at 27 weeks and am currently 27 weeks pregnant again and doing everything I can to give this baby a chance to develop inutero longer, but I don't know how anyone would endanger a life like that, even if the baby wasn't born yet.

Veronica - posted on 01/15/2010

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I dont think she would intentionally cause the miscarriage - but if she had the option to prevent it - why wouldnt a person take it? I guess its how a person feels about it too. Like stated before - a fetus is a fetus to some - and to others (like me) its a human being. So i guess it depends on that. For me, i would have done the bedrest and figured out the rest as i went. Apparantly not all will take that same avenue, and I guess i shouldnt judge, if it sounded that i did - i just dont agree, and dont understand.

Veronica - posted on 01/15/2010

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And that is where we disagree - because i personally would not feel it to be a waste. Maybe im the wrong one to post on here, because im currently pregnant right now - and would give anything to make sure my baby is going to survive and live and come into this world - as healthy as possible. So im on this end of the debate.

As far as letting fate take its hand - that would be going back to the smoking debates that have been rearing their ugly heads on these forums - if letting fate take over - then a smoking mother would just say -well fate will determine if my baby will be ill or healthy - so i will smoke anyways. I would look at it in the same context - if i needed to be on bedrest to do the best i could for my unborn child to have a chance at living, then i would do the bedrest, and let fate help with the job/children part of it.

Regardless, whether we let fate decide or not - i would still take every step and action that i could to ensure a better outcome for fate.

Jaime - posted on 01/15/2010

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Veronica, I don't think that this woman chose not to let her unborn child live so that she could care for her existing children. I think it came down to letting fate have at it...if the child was meant to live then it would have I guess. I doubt very much that this woman would have been doing strenuous things to intentionally harm her unborn child...but going to work and caring for one's children is very commonplace in this day and age. Her doctor told her that she had a threatened miscarriage at 25 weeks and the recommendation was that she be on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy--15 weeks (that's over three months). As much as family and friends could step in to help her...why should she be confined to a bed for three months...what kind of stress would that cause? I hate being cooped up in the house for even a day without getting outside for a walk...I would never confine myself to a bed for three months because I might miscarry my child...at that point, I just feel that what will be will be. Certainly there are things that people can do to decrease their work load, but to be completely immobile for an extended period of time to ensure the safety and well-being of a fetus when there are existing children to be cared for and life to be lived...seems a bit of a waste to me.

Veronica - posted on 01/15/2010

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One other note - i realize being on bedrest for how weeks, is different than have a baby and being in the hospital, or resting for a few days/weeks is a huge difference in duration - but what was this woman going to do when she went into labor? hospitals here dont allow children in when you are delivering the baby, and dont allow children to stay over in the hospital either - so what were her plans then?

I guess im just upset that this woman would refuse to tend to the unborn child.

And another thing, im pro-life, and i personally feel life is when life starts - conception. There is still a 'human' in there, regardless if its a cluster of cells, or a fully developed fetus/baby. Choosing to let your unborn child live, so you can take care of already born children is a shitty way to look at it. Quite frankly it upsets me. It would be the same if someone were to say, "if i have this baby i will die, so i will just kill it, because its just a fetus/cluster of cells" - i would die, so my baby could live -- at least this is MY OPINION - and how i view it - but i think that THAT is selfish. The child would have a chance at life, where i already did.



I better get off this topic, its riling me up!!

Veronica - posted on 01/15/2010

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Im at a toss up here. On one hand, I feel the courts did the right thing. On the other hand, the mother has her rights as well, and I know from personal bullshit with my pregnancies - that i would have been pissed to be court ordered otherwise.

Regardless of rights - i feel what the mother did was wrong. If losing my job, to save my unborn childs life is what it took - i would say f*ck the job. Especially if the job didnt accommadate for her having to be on bedrest - and you would then think that she could sue the place of work for firing her for medical conditions - so as far as the job went - i think that was something that shouldnt be more important than your family/unborn child. As for her children she now had - what about relatives or close friends stepping in to help? or is this woman isolated from the world? you cant tell me there were no compassionate people in her life to help take care of her children?



So - my final word on this is - intervention is good and bad, and truly depends on who/what - circumstances. But as a personal choice, i think the mother was being rediculous to refuse orders because of things that had options - where her unborn child's only option was for the mother to be on bedrest or it died.



Does this make sense? When i was on bedrest, my husband took off a little time from work, and we arranged sitters/family - to help out with our children. I just dont understand i guess.

Jaime - posted on 01/15/2010

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I can understand it might be upsetting for some to think that this mother would not want to do what is best for the fetus growing inside her...but with that said, perhaps she felt (as I would) that it was much more important to make sure that her children that already existed were cared for and provided for. I'm sure the loss of the baby was nothing short of sad and maybe even devastating for this woman, but I just don't believe that she was being negligent to the unborn child. A living child that is treated with homeopathic methods for diseases that are more successfully cured by medical means seems a bit more negligent to me...as odd as that might sound. It's still at the discretion of the parents as to what method of threatment they choose, but the difference is that the child already exists and if they are dying and can be cured and the parents are refusing treatment based on religion or THEIR PERSONAL beliefs then it goes against what the child might want. Although a child is not LEGALLY able to make decisions for themself, if the child wanted chemotherapy so he/she could live...what then? Is it right for a parent to go against the living child's wishes if they are old enough to express their thoughts on the matter? I realize again, that there are many different scenarios for the above situation and differing circumstances would likely arise for different families...but just the same, I still think a parent refusing to give their child chemo at least warrants a court intervention, whereas a pregnant woman refusing bed rest so she can care for her two existing children does not.

Rosie - posted on 01/15/2010

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you do make great points jaime-leigh. i'm reminded of cases when parents choose homeopathic ways to treat their child's cancer and the court intervened to make them give the child chemotherapy, sadly the child died because they were tied up in the court system for so long with appeals. i can't understand why someone wouldn't want to do everything they could to help their child live, and i thought the court was right at that time as well, but your points bring up alot of questions for me. i may be swayed....

Jaime - posted on 01/15/2010

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I pulled this quote from the article and it perfectly describes why I believe that the case against this woman is bogus:



"If we allow the government to confine a pregnant woman for not following orders to remain in bed, what’s next? Will we forcibly hospitalize pregnant women for having a glass of wine with dinner? Or eating too much fast food? What if they don’t take their prenatal vitamins? Or miss their doctor’s appointments? What if a pregnant woman refuses a Cesarean section? While we each may have strong opinions about such behaviors, our government cannot interfere in a woman’s personal private medical decisions. Allowing the government to make medical decisions for pregnant women means that literally every decision and every activity a pregnant woman engages in could be regulated by the state. And certainly the possibility of state-mandated hospitalization for those who have engaged in “unhealthy behaviors” would deter some women from seeking any prenatal care for fear of being punished. In that situation, everybody loses."



It might be a stretch to think that a court would restrict the rights of a pregnant woman if she forgot to take her vitamins or ate McDonald's twice in one week...but it's not any better that a judge ordered a pregnant woman to quit smoking, ordered her on bed rest for up to 15 weeks and confined her to the hospital of his/her choosing, stipulating that the fetus would receive any and all care necessary...what kind of bullshit is that? Ya, because that's not going to put undue stress on a pregnant woman at all! I think this woman was perfectly within her right to refuse bed rest...I doubt that ANY mother of multiple children could lay in bed for 15 weeks and not work or care for her existing children. A fetus does not even exist in our legal or social system until it is born alive and given a birth certificate...so wtf?

Rosie - posted on 01/15/2010

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i do believe in a case like this that the court has to intervene. it is child endangerment! however that being said abortion laws come into play in this in my mind. if someone call legally kill their child, then how can it be illegal to do what she is doing? i my self am pro-choice-a very hypocritical pro-choice, but none the less, pro-choice. i believe life begins at conception but there are some circumstances are around that i believe abortion should be legal. i would not like to have a child suffer at the hands of his parents and grow up in a terrible life rather than being aborted. this child i don't believe would've suffered at the hands of his parents, so i believe legal intervention was warranted. i got pretty off topic with the abortion thing, hope i made sense!

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