Why do you think this girl is using pot? Do you have proof? Have you talked to her about drug use during pregnancy? Is she married? Do you know the doctor well enough to talk off the record and give the doctor a "heads up" on this situation? Will she be keeping this baby or will someone else be raising this child? Have you checked with the state board to find out just what your obligations are in this situation? Just a few more things to think about before you act.
More than likely when this woman goes in to have her baby the pot use will show up on both her labs and the babies. If the baby tests positive for drugs, the nursery will notify child protective services. If she is your patient, by all means please advise her to quit the pot, if anything at least for her unborn baby's sake
Ok, I asked my supervisor and she said yes, you should report it. Few reasons~ If anyone found out after she had the baby because of blood work or whatever it could always come back to you somehow and you could be in some stuff for not reporting it. The babys health. Also it is your responsibility as a nurse to do so. Now my supervisor did say she would talk to this lady first and if nothing changed go and report it. I hope this helps a little and I am sorry about the spot you are in. That poor baby. I often wonder why women have babies if they are not going to give it a chance at a healthy life. Good luck.
Quote from LPNnurse
Wow, not a good spot for you to be in. Good question though, I will ask my supervisor tomorrow for you and let you know..
I'm reading this as a personal situation - that is, this person is not her patient. Perhaps the original poster could clarify? In that case, there is not necessarily a ethical duty of care from your occupational standpoint to report. Morally, that's another call.
I just finished a public health paper based on laws here in MA. As a licensed nurse I am considered a mandated reporter. Any abuse I see whether it is in a facility, or in a supermarket, I am required to report.
On the other hand, in MA, there are no statutes regarding child abuse before delivery. I have a friend who works in Child Protective Services and she has been banging her head against this wall for years.
She can take the kids away from a coke head or meth addict, but can do nothing to protect the 8 month fetus she abuses every day.