Child Abuse

  1. 4
    This is a really tough subject and one of the saddest things I see ...... makes me the most mad too.

    It's not really something you would think you'd see really in the NICU, as all or our babies are "new" ..... they haven't been home yet, therefore the parents can't abuse them.

    I'm talking about moms that abuse their babies in utero.

    That's legal, correct?

    Mom can do all kinds of drugs, that's ok. At the worst, the baby will be taken into CPS custody (and even that's not always the case).

    I actually had a discussion about this a few weeks ago with one of our baby's family members. The mom had done all kinds of drugs during the pregnancy and therefore the extended family was going to be taking the baby. The uncle of the baby had brought up the questions of why nothing is done to these mothers for abusing their babies. These babies suffer, it's abuse. The mom will just continue doing it, as she has repeatedly, nothing is ever done to stop her. He brought up a good point, one of which I've been pondering over.

    We had another mom that was a cocaine addict and also had placenta previa. She had been hospitalized for bleeding, but left AMA. A few days later medics brought her in as she had abrupted at home. Mother and baby were VERY critical and were both not expected to make it. Baby was brain dead. Mom ended up pulling through. We had the baby on the vent ..... the docs talked to mom about taking the baby off and she said "I can't do this to my baby, I can't make the decision to take her off". UGH!! What?! This kid was ~34 weeks. The only reason she was brain dead was because of mom's stupid choices. How can she say she can't make these decisions, when clearly she is the reason her baby is like that? Ended up taking the baby off, end of story. I won't go into too many more details, but mom had many other kids, another of which was brain damaged due to mom's poor choices.

    So, where does it end? Are there any states that do anything to these mothers? Do the babies have any rights to health and protection? Or since this damage is done in utero, then nothing can be done?
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  3. 44 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    I'm not a NICU nurse but I've read several articles in the past about the very thing you are talking about and I am with you on wondering where does it end.

    IMHO, if people who murder pregnant women are also given a charge for the murder of an unborn child, I just don't get why "mothers" (I use that term lightly) who abuse their unborn children by doing harmful, illegal drugs, can't be charged with such.
    Sweeper933 likes this.
  5. 0
    It is a difficult issue. The flip side of this question is that there are plenty of us who don't see a fetus as a separate "person" who has rights and can be "murdered" or "abused."
  6. 3
    Quote from elkpark
    It is a difficult issue. The flip side of this question is that there are plenty of us who don't see a fetus as a separate "person" who has rights and can be "murdered" or "abused."
    some of those laws(if not most) where passed to chip away at the right to have an abortion.....one always needs to think of the unintended sequelae of their actions
    anniesong, elizabells, and elkpark like this.
  7. 3
    Frankly, I think these 'mothers' should be sterilized, one strike you're out type of thing. I know the ACLU would be up in arms, but it seems like the logical consequence for this type of abuse.
    tencat, ruralnurs, and DDRN4me like this.
  8. 1
    In the last state I worked in, if you tested drug positive during a pregnancy, you were jailed after delivery, and your baby was placed in foster care. Was it always enforced? No. But at least it was an attempt.
    canoehead likes this.
  9. 1
    The drug situation in my area is so bad that one of the LPN's in my class said that statistically, OVER 50% of babies are born with illegal drugs in their system at their hospital...that ranges from Mom being on pain pills for which she did not have a valid prescription or things like cocaine or meth.

    Think that's the worst of it?

    That same LPN said that in the 5 years she has been in the OB Section of the hospital, she can count on one hand with fingers left over, how many babies were not released to the mother due to a court order....a social worker simply told her that if they took away every baby that had drugs in it's system, that there weren't enough foster families to go around.

    Blows my mind.

    I personally believe it should be mandatory that if you give birth to a baby that tests positive for illegal drugs, you shouldn't be allowed to leave the hospital until your tubes are tied.

    When it comes to things like that, I don't give a horse's patoot about someone's individual rights.
    ruralnurs likes this.
  10. 2
    This is one of the harderst parts of our job. Nothing makes me madder than a stat c/s fror abruption because the mom was smoking crack.
    I takes a lot for me not to be judgemental. I want to smack these moms around and ask, "What were you thinking??"
    Then there are the heroin moms and the kids that are withdrawing. You want to talk child abuse??! What a horrible thing to put a child through!
    If you want to do drugs, fine. But for the love of a child, don't have sex!
    ruralnurs and HappyPediRN like this.
  11. 0
    Quote from Hopefull2009
    The drug situation in my area is so bad that one of the LPN's in my class said that statistically, OVER 50% of babies are born with illegal drugs in their system at their hospital...that ranges from Mom being on pain pills for which she did not have a valid prescription or things like cocaine or meth.
    Not to disqualify what you are saying, but that would mean that all the babies have a U tox sent. Is this true?
  12. 1
    Quote from SteveRN21
    In the last state I worked in, if you tested drug positive during a pregnancy, you were jailed after delivery, and your baby was placed in foster care. Was it always enforced? No. But at least it was an attempt.
    this actually is the law i had in mind when i made the comment about unintended sequelae.....women stopped getting any prenatal care, when they found out they would be drug tested....
    DeLanaHarvickWannabe likes this.


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