FL: Appeals court hears case of pregnant woman ordered to stay at TMH

Portman reports:

Does a woman lose her right to make medical decisions for herself when she is pregnant? Can the state effectively treat her as little more than an “incubator,” subject to the total control of her doctor?

Those are the key questions raised by attorneys on behalf of a Wakulla County woman whose case was heard last week by the 1st District Court of Appeal.

Samantha Burton was 25 weeks pregnant last March when she went for a prenatal doctor’s visit and was admitted into Tallahassee Memorial Hospital because of complications.

“I was desperately hoping to receive the care I needed to save my baby,” she said.
After examining Burton, Dr. Jana Bures-Forsthoefel found the 29-year-old mother of two had a ruptured membrane, had started contractions and was at risk of infection or premature birth, jeopardizing her health and the life of her unborn child.

Burton was ordered to immediately quit smoking and stay in the hospital on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy, but Burton didn’t like that idea. She wasn’t happy with care she was getting and wanted to go to another hospital and get a second opinion. She wanted to be able to go home.

Only, Burton wasn’t allowed to leave.

Read more on Tallahassee.com

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