Forced Cesarean Leads to Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

A woman who alleges that doctors at a Staten Island hospital forced her to have a cesarean section delivery in spite of her protests has filed a lawsuit against the physicians and the hospital.
According to one media report, “However, when the much-anticipated day came for Rinat Dray’s baby to be born, those guidelines were ignored. The staff of Staten Island University Hospital began pressuring Dray to have a repeat cesarean when she arrived at the hospital in labor. She refused.

A few hours later, the attending physician informed her that he would no longer examine her unless she consented to a repeat c-section. She again refused. But that didn’t stop the physician, who consulted with the hospital’s legal department and made the decision to violate her will and her right to refuse surgery by the forced cesarean. The following notation is written in Dray’s medical records: The woman has decisional capacity. I have decided to override her refusal to have a c-section.” The medical malpractice lawsuit is based in part on The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists which determined in 2010 that “respect for patient autonomy requires that even if an institution does not offer trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC), a cesarean cannot be forced nor can care be denied if a woman declines a repeat cesarean during labor.” This will be an interesting legal case as it concerns patients’ rights as well as the duties of physicians in determining the medically correct method or procedure.

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