Judge Allows Forced Cesarean

Florida Mother Being Forced Into Cesarean Section By Hospital And Judge – She Doesn’t Want It

7/27/2014 Update:

Statement from Jennifer Goodall: “Thank you to everyone from around the country and the world for the outpouring of support. I welcomed my son into the world after laboring, consenting to surgery when it became apparent that it was necessary because labor was not progressing. This was all I wanted to begin with. I am grateful to the medical staff at another hospital who assisted us in a safe and healthy delivery. Now, my family’s focus is on welcoming our newborn into our family with love, and on my physical and emotional recovery from the intensity of the last few days.”

Jennifer has a healthy baby, but was not forced into surgery. There is an enormous difference between agreeing to a cesarean when it is evident that it is necessary, and being forced into a cesarean surgery, or other intervention, such as induction of labor, against a mother’s will.

One is liberty; the other tyranny.

Original report:

Do Constitutional Rights no longer apply to pregnant women? That is what some are asking in the case of a Florida mother whose hospital is trying to force her to have a cesarean section, even though it is not medically required.

The National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) today issued a press release, saying, “Florida Hospital Says It Will Force Pregnant Woman To Have Cesarean Surgery.” The hospital is also threatening to report Jennifer Goodall to child protective services if she doesn’t comply with their demands.

Jennifer Goodall is a mother of three from Cape Coral, Florida, who wants to have what is known as a trial of labor (TOL) with the baby that she is due with now. She has reached her decision after much study and research into the benefits and risks of VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) versus repeat cesarean. Her previous three children were born via cesarean, and Ms. Goodall has decided that she wants to give this baby and her body the benefit of a normal birth, “unless and until medical complications during labor necessitate medical intervention.” She plans to give birth at a hospital that is well-equipped in the relatively small chance that a complication should arise.

According to NAPW, the Chief Financial Officer of Bayfront Health Port Charlotte sent a letter to Ms. Goodall on July 10, 2014, informing her that:

“because she decided to have a trial of labor before agreeing to cesarean surgery, her prenatal care providers intended to report her to the Department of Children and Family Services, seek a court order to perform surgery, and to perform cesarean surgery on her ‘with or without [her] consent’ if she came to the hospital.”

This decision by the hospital is a violation of medical ethics, as well as of ACOG’s own standards of ethics. ACOG is the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The ACOG Committee on Ethics made the following statement in 2010:

“Court-ordered interventions in cases of informed refusal, as well as punishment of pregnant women for their behavior that may put a fetus at risk, neglect the fact that medical knowledge and predictions of outcomes in obstetrics have limitations.”

Additionally, the Committee stated:

“[Even if] a woman’s autonomous decision [seems] not to promote beneficence-based obligations (of the woman or the physician) to the fetus,… the obstetrician must respect the patient’s autonomy, continue to care for the pregnant woman, and not intervene against the patient’s wishes, regardless of the consequences.”

Forced Cesarean Surgery