Consent and refusal are constitutional rights that courts have recognized for over a century. A woman’s right to decide what happens with her body, including to forgo an advised medical procedure, does not stop just because she is with a child.
In many circumstances, pregnant women are told that they “have to” have a c-section. This happens because hospital administrations take advantage of a person’s ignorance about their rights. It is almost always illegal for them to force you to have a c-section—it is incredibly rare for this to be medically necessary. If you feel you are being bullied or coerced into a cesarean section surgery, here are some things you should be aware of:
You Have Constitutional Rights to Decline Any Medical Procedure
You can say no to any medical procedure that a doctor or any other medical professional deems you should have. If a doctor advises you to have a c-section, you can say no and not have the procedure if that is your wish.
Be Informed and Precise
If you are feeling coerced into a c-section that you do not want, say these words to your doctor or healthcare specialist: “I am exercising my right to decline this procedure. I do not consent to a c-section.”
Doctors can give their medical opinion that they think is best, but when you feel that your doctor is trying to demean, bully, or threaten you in any way, ensure that you know the proper steps to take to receive the care that you are entitled to.
A Hospital Cannot Force a Cesarean Section Without a Court Order
The only circumstances that would allow health professionals to force a woman into having a c-section would be by a court order. This will only occur if the mother or her child’s life is in danger and the hospital staff has reasonable grounds to believe the woman does not have the intellectual, mental, or physical capacity to consent to or deny a medical procedure. This should only incur if, by not doing so, medical negligence will occur and the mother or fetus’s life is at stake.
How Garau Germano, P.C. Can Help
If you have recently felt threatened or forced into an unwanted medical procedure, and you have experienced a case of malpractice, call our office today. Everyone has the right to a standard of care when they enter a hospital. Being pregnant does not change that.