Does Refusing to Consent to a C-Section Make You an Unfit Mother?

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c-section mother's rights kid taken awayA New Jersey women refused to give her consent to a C-section in the event her baby was in distress (which was entirely within her legal rights). And although she went on to give birth vaginally to a healthy baby, her parental rights were terminated and her baby was taken away. According to the court, she "abused and neglected her child" by refusing the C-section and she behaved "erratically" during labor.

The court pointed to hospital records that stated the woman was "combative," "uncooperative," "erratic," "noncompliant," "irrational" and "inappropriate."

The court's opinion also focused on the fact that the mother had been under psychiatric care for the past twelve years. However, if she had not refused the C-section, her psychological state would not have been put under a microscope—and she would have gone home with her baby.

Custody of the baby has been given to her foster parents.

You can check out the court's official ruling at MomLogic.

Do you think a baby should be taken away from her mother for her refusal to consent to a C-section?

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24 Comments

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MoM.i.aM MoM.i.aM

Um, for not consenting for a C section....NO. As it states it is her right to choose not to have one. But I do think that if she is not mentally stable, C Section or not the child should have been taken away. At least until she got the help she needed. Unless the care was for something int he past that she has already worked through and has been deemed safe.

Lanasmom Lanasmom

Thats a tough one-- I mean IMO if your really willing to sacrifice your child's safety and well-being because you don't want to have surgery or be left with a scar, then ya, maybe you don't deserve that child--When my dr. told me that my child was in distress and she suggested a c-section, my only concern was my child, and i wanted them to get him out asap--I knew if his hear rate kept going down, it could cause irreversible damage. I recovered just fine from a c-section.

KnitP... KnitPicky

This part of the article almost makes me laugh:


"The court pointed to hospital records that stated the woman was "combative," "uncooperative," "erratic," "noncompliant," "irrational" and "inappropriate.""


WELL, DUH!!!!!


She was in LABOR!!!


Considering that the C-section rate is over 30% (you really mean to tell me that one third of the women in this country can't give birth vaginally - the way God originally intented??? I HIGHLY doubt that!!), this lady was probably just trying to protect herself and her baby from an unnecessary procedure. Docs and hospitals are too quick to push a birthing mom into MAJOR SURGERY that could be avoided by just patiently letting nature do it's thing. Some C-sections are certainly necessary. But one would think they would be more rare than they are. Over 30%? Jeepers!!


My heart breaks for this poor mom! I can't even imagine how I would feel if 'the courts" took away any of my 3 home-birthed little guys, claiming that I was an unfit parent because I didn't even give birth in a hospital. What a tragedy! :(

A_DiP... A_DiPasquale09

I think it's a bunch of bull. One, they couldn't tell she wasn't mentally stable or unstable because of how she was reacting to labor. What woman goes through labor with out a moment of acting erratical, your doing what can only be listed as one of the most trying things on earth. I'm probably going to drop a few curse words during labor, but if thats considered being innapropriate than I think those doctors need to find a new job. She had a right, previously hospitalized in a psych ward or not, and she exercised her rights freely like she should be allowed to do. They violated that and I hope some one of a higher power then what ever crooked court system was deciding on that outcome re-evaluates her case.


What has the world come to when a mother can't choose how to birth with out fear of losing her child? That mental state during labor can be used as a legal argument, and previous psychiatric help can mean you no longer have rights. Watch out those with mental state problems, they might come for you, hide your depression pills! (thats not intended to offend.)

Tiffa... TiffanyB1221

i have 2 kids and i had both c-sections. My oldest was 6 weeks early due to the fact that I was having contractions and my sons heart rate was dropping to between 50 and 80 bpm so they said its c-section or death for my son. Well i didnt oppose I was scared s******* of labor (and didnt even go through it yet lol) and Ive had my shares of surgery in my life so I was grateful for the c-section but even the c-section wasnt successful at first they still couldn't get him out!!!! it took them 10 mins from the time they told me they saw my baby till he actually was out. we almost lost him that day but with my 2nd one was my choice I just wanted to know roughly an exact date when my baby would be there and I did I will not vaginally go if I get pregnant again unless something seriously happens and I go into labor and can't get to the hopsital. Lol

Amand... AmandaSnyder

Im sorry But I'm deciding against a c-section.  I am in the miltary and the doctors are telling me to have a c-section.  granted if my son is in any danger that could kill him yes I'll do it.  But I have three and half weeks left till my actual due and just becuase he is comfortable and has not turned they wanna me to go through a c-section.  Of course I did descuse(sp) turning him with the doctor as option one saving the c-section for exstreme case.  But point is why if indeed was she mentaly unstable in the first place was she allowed to make the decesion herself why not have someone she trusted talk to her.  Plus who wouldnt be combative or anything during labor I have watched many a friend go through it and I can say "welllllll NO CRAP SHURLOCK."  But really I think the doctors wanted to make her life a live hole in the ground.

auror... aurorabunny

Well if they were pushing her into a c-section like they love to do so much and she said no and went on to have a healthy baby, maybe she knew something that they didn't.  That's a bunch of crap that they took her baby away.

apexm... apexmommy

She did not refuse a c-section.  She refused to give blanket consent for a c-section.  Had a situation arose in which a c-section might have been needed, she could still consent.  Basically, she refused to give the decision to her doctor unless he talked with her before hand.  I didn't sign the form at my hopsital either, and they were like, but what if something goes wrong.  Um, my husband is right here.  He can consent.  Giving my power of refusal away means that if the doctor is tired of trying, they can just go ahead and do it whether you like it or not and their butt is covered.

toria... toriandgrace

I don't think we know the whole story. We have no idea how she acted in the hospital, just a bunch of adjectives. She could have been acting really, really crazy, and based on the last 12 years of her life, she could in fact be crazy. It's really not fair to assume that the courts are completely wrong without having all the fact, and an opinion column in a newspaper, isn't going to present an unbiased view.


If the baby died, because she didn't want a C-section, should the mother be responsible?


The courts didn't take the baby away because she didn't have a C-section, they took the baby away because her behavior over that decision brought her capability to parent the child to the hospital's attention, then the court looked into her mental state, and her past and saw that she wasn't fit.

spamica spamica

Not at all.  Especially not in America where they are VERY quick to order a c-section and have one of the highest rates in the world.  And I acted pretty erratic during labor as well and I wanted to run away even though I knew I NEEDED a c-section.  Of course, I didn't run away and I did consent to a c-section but I can understand why someone else might not.

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