Health Care Legal Case

Topics: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Medicine Pages: 3 (804 words) Published: December 10, 2014
Health Care Legal Case
There are many current legal issues surrounding health care in the United States. The primary one that is taking most people’s interests is the legalities of the Health Care Reform Act; however, I want to concentrate on an issue that is very controversial and sensitive for many, forced or involuntary hospitalizations. Involuntary hospitalizations are a common occurrence in the United States among mentally unstable individuals and also in a unique case, a pregnant female. Many states have laws which make it possible for people with mental illnesses to be involuntarily hospitalized when they could appear to be a threat to themselves or others around them. This might seem like it makes sense to keep people from harming themselves or others but what about keeping a pregnant woman hospitalized, against her will, and to keep her from seeking medical treatment elsewhere? Should that situation be legal and is it ethical? Samantha Burton was confined against her will for three day in a Florida hospital where she walked in on her own due to concerns with premature labor as she was in her 25th week of pregnancy (James, 2010). Burton was kept against her will by a court order which the physician she went to see obtained once there was knowledge that Burton was unwilling to be hospitalized for months as she has other children and also because she wanted to seek another opinion (James, 2010). Sadly, Samantha Burton miscarried and had to deliver a stillborn child by cesarean three days after being forced to remain hospitalized. There are many issues with this case as Samantha Burton was not given alternatives to care and encountered a physician opinion being forced upon her as she willingly walked into a hospital for care. With these many issues there are many questions which arise, such as: Is it right to force health care treatment on someone? Is it right to take away a patients’ right to seek care with another provider? Is it right to not offer other...

References: American Civil Liberties Union. (2010). Florida Court Upholds Right Of Pregnant Woman To
Determine Medical Care. Retrieved from http://www.aclu.org/reproductive-freedom/
Donaldson James, S. (2010). Pregnant Woman Fights Court-Ordered Bed Rest. Retrieved from
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/florida-court-orders-pregnant-woman-bed-rest-
medical/story?id=9561460
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