In Tallahassee, Florida, a pregnant woman started having labor pains at six months and was admitted to a hospital. The pains turned out to be a false alarm, but her doctor told her she should remain in the hospital for bed rest.
The woman did not want to stay in the hospital and fought it legally. However, a judge agreed with the doctor and she was forced to remain there. Within three days of the judge’s ruling, she delivered a stillborn fetus. The woman has since appealed the judge’s order.
The woman is not interested in money. The dispute is about where a mother’s right to decide her own medical treatment ends and where the priority of protecting a fetus begins.
As I was reading this news article, I was again reminded of how ‘other’ people want to usurp the rights of pregnant women. In this particular case, the woman was unhappy with the care she was receiving and wanted the option to seek care at another hospital or to go home. Yet this choice was removed by a legal system that had no business injecting itself into the situation.
Whether it is a case like this one or whether it’s the right of a women to have an abortion, NO ONE should tell a pregnant woman what she should or shouldn’t do.
Doctors must receive consent from the patient, or in cases where the patient is incompacitated from an appopriate surrogate decision maker, to perform surgery. Whether it’s a comparatively minor surgery or a ‘life-saving’ surgery, the rights of the patient are honored.
So why does society suddenly change the rules when it comes to a pregnant woman’s rights over her own body?