Woman refuses CS, charged with murder - page 7

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (03-11) 13:49 PST SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A pregnant woman who allegedly ignored medical warnings to have a... Read More

  1. by   vwgirl
    Quote from KMSRN
    In this country, you can choose to abort an unborn baby up until the last minute of gestation. Would you say a woman who chooses abortion is also an unfit parent? Is there is a difference between the mother who knowingly allows her unborn child to die, and one who chooses to terminate the pregnancy at the last minute? According to our law, an unborn child lives based on the choice of the mother. I'm not trying to make a judgement here, but we can't have it both ways. As it stands right now, an unborn baby only has as much status as the mother allows. If she wishes to have the baby then causing it harm is a crime. If she doesn't wish to have the baby, then she is free to end its life. Based on that, she didn't commit murder. And if she is found unstable and unfit, then any woman terminating would be ustable and unfit and vice versa.
    Maybe I'm not up to speed on this, but I was under the impression that abortions were only legal (in NJ, at least) up to 24 weeks. That is not the last minute of gestation. Or would that be in case of danger to the mother's health/life? Just wondering...
  2. by   BabyRN2Be
    Quote from ejm99
    This is EXACTLY what I thought...but not only about the prosecutor but also about the MEDIA in general.

    How often do you turn on the news and hear a story then flip channels and hear the same story but w/ different, embellished, or flat out DIFFERENT details.
    This story is a prime example of this type of thing happening. I had previously posted that I had heard on a cable news channel (that rhymes with "Socks" ) that this lady had called a relative and tried to make a deal to sell the baby to this relative for bond money.

    I came back here to read a different story that said that the baby girl was adopted.

    Who really knows for sure what's going on? We really can't make assumptions on anything in this case.
  3. by   CatskillsRN
    Quote from Jolie
    Ginny,

    I agree that murder charges are not appropriate, but please understand that it is not the MD who is pressing them! It is the District Attorney.
    Agreed!!!! but who reported to the DA??
  4. by   CatskillsRN
    [QUOTE=moondancer]"Forcible sterilization".....I don't think so! so all mentally challenged women, drug abusing women get sterilized.

    I know..... this is what we were doing in the 40's

    Then what...deaf women? Blind women? Women whom we just don't want reproducing? Where would it stop?

    Yep Hitler started with that.... see Armand Gatti play deals with Deaf hiding during the war...
    Ginny
    And do we really want to give the government this kind of control over women??? I don't think so.
    I agree, this is a huge issue and we've all seen and cared for these patients that we say "they shouldn't be allowed to reproduce", but to forcibly sterilize someone....
  5. by   Jolie
    Quote from CatskillsRN
    Agreed!!!! but who reported to the DA??

    Again, it is hard to sort out truth from fiction due to the media hype in this case, but it is my understanding that an RN or Social Worker from the hospital where she delivered contacted Child Protective Services after the babies were born to report a case of possible abuse/neglect. Frankly this is believable to me, as many states mandate reporting of report (+) newborn drug screens.
  6. by   CatskillsRN
    Quote from Jolie
    Again, it is hard to sort out truth from fiction due to the media hype in this case, but it is my understanding that an RN or Social Worker from the hospital whe she delivered contacted Child Protective Services after the babies were born to report a case of possible abuse/neglect. Frankly this is believable to me, as many states mandate reporting of report (+) newborn drug screens.
    Jee I wish I had kept the Utah newspaper link... it was very neutral and I had read it in a MW list... I think I remember the article saying that MD's were on her case b/c of her refusal of the C/s and this is what lead to the charges anyway....
    Yes her drug screen was + and it was probably another factor in the case..
    At any rate, the fact of being charged of murder, regardless of the above circumstances, makes me fear consequences on the relation between providers and patients, when the provider thinks that refusing a procedure would endanger the fetus... In this case, the EFM strip, was the argument in favor to advise the c/s, leading the Md to think that the Fetus was in danger.
    However inumerous studies declare that EFM has not improved fetal mortality and outcomes at birth... how many times have we encountered strips that say that BB is not doing well, when in fact BB is ok at birth?
    I am not saying that EFM has never predicted fetal distress, what I am saying is that we consider EFM as an Instrument which will dictate accuratly a decision, when in fact there are so any other factors which should help decide for a C/S if necessary
  7. by   rhiannonwolf
    Um, forced sterilization? Anyone, anyone? We have to have a license in this country for driving and getting married, but anyone can pop out a child regardless of their mental abilities, past criminal history, etc. I know I just opened up a large can of worms, but after working in state-run family agencies for just three years, I can tell you that I am completely JADED and I have no patience for these women who can just keep on getting pregnant over and over again only to have every single child placed in foster care because they don't have the capabilities of caring for them.

    My .02

    rhiannonwolf
  8. by   kids
    I would have liked to have seen a much longer sentance but at least she will not be able to reproduce for a while.

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/04/07/mo....ap/index.html

    SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) -- The woman accused of murdering one of her twins by failing to undergo a timely Caesarean section pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of child endangerment.

    Melissa Ann Rowland had been charged with murder for failing to follow doctors' advice to undergo the procedure, which they said was necessary to save the life of her twins. Under a plea bargain, the murder charge was dropped.

    Prosecutors said Rowland, 28, acted with "depraved indifference" when she allegedly ignored doctors' repeated warnings to undergo a C-section to save the babies' lives.

    On Wednesday, she admitted using cocaine in the weeks before she finally underwent the C-section that produced a stillborn boy. The second child, a girl who survived and has been adopted, was found with cocaine and alcohol in her system.

    Rowland was sent back to jail after the hearing, during which she showed little emotion but appeared disappointed when the judge denied a request to release her from custody until sentencing on April 29.

    Under the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend that Rowland receive concurrent terms of zero to five years in prison, court probation and admittance to a drug treatment program.

    Rowland has said she never intended to kill her baby and was not informed she needed immediate surgery. She denied prosecutors' allegations she was worried about a scar, saying she delivered two previous children through C-sections.

    Her attorney, Michael Sikora, has said Rowland suffers from mental illness.

    "She decided it was in her best interest to resolve the case as soon as possible, and I support her in the decision she made," Sikora said outside the courtroom.

    Salt Lake County prosecutor Langdon Fisher said the plea agreement was reached based on Rowland's "mental health history." Prosecutors had originally dropped the child-endangerment charge and planned to use evidence that Rowland used cocaine to bolster the murder charge.

    "We believe these pleas are in the interest of justice," Fisher said.

    The National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union and others have said prosecutors went too far, calling the case a back-door effort to undermine abortion rights and an attack on a poor, possibly mentally ill person.

    Legal experts said they do not know of any other instance in the United States in which a woman was charged with murder for refusing or delaying a C-section, though some women have been forced to undergo C-sections after their doctors obtained court orders.



    btw, a link r/t reports that may have tried to sell at least one of the babies:http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/03/15/ca....ap/index.html

    SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) -- Prosecutors are investigating whether a woman charged with killing her baby by refusing a Caesarean section tried to scam a couple by offering to sell them the non-existent child for bail money, a newspaper reported.

    Deputy Salt Lake County District Attorney Kent Morgan told the Deseret News his office was reviewing the allegations from a California couple who said they accepted collect telephone calls from Melissa Rowland from jail.

    Rowland, 28, accused of refusing a C-section for her unborn twins because she feared scarring, has been jailed on criminal homicide and child endangerment charges. She has denied refusing a C-section.

    In a jailhouse interview Friday with The Associated Press, Rowland said without prompting that she had not tried to sell the babies, but did not elaborate. The latest allegations apparently came after the interview.

    One of the twins, a boy, was stillborn on January 13. A girl survived and has since been adopted, but prosecutors say she tested positive for cocaine and alcohol, which resulted in the child endangerment charges. She is scheduled to be in court Tuesday on that charge.

    Monday, Rowland pleaded innocent to one count of criminal homicide. She appeared in court via video teleconference from jail, and her attorney entered the plea.

    Brian Farley told the newspaper for Sunday's editions that the adoption agency he and his wife were using contacted them about possibly adopting Rowland's baby boy.

    The Sacramento couple said Rowland offered to give them a boy if they paid her $5,000 bail. They were unaware that Rowland had already given birth to a stillborn baby boy and thought she was in jail only on child endangerment charges.

    Under the assumption their attorney had checked Rowland's background, Farley said he and his wife agreed to accept collect telephone calls from the woman from jail. The calls began February 26 and ended March 2, he said.

    Rowland's attorney has said she had a long history of mental illness.
  9. by   LauraF, RN
    Why do you say she will not be able to reproduce? I did not see anything that said she was sterilized. She can still get pregnant in jail. There are many documented cases. What if through all this hype she ends up getting probation for the drug charge and endangerment. Or worse yet, mental health facility, she could get pregnant there too.
  10. by   kmrmom42
    <<The only cases I have seen in which judges issued orders for treatment involved minor children whose lives were in imminent risk without it, and whose parents refused consent. The rationale being that the children would want to live, if they were able to state their own wishes.>>

    Isn't this exactly the situation in the case we are discussing?
  11. by   Jolie
    Quote from kmrmom42
    <<The only cases I have seen in which judges issued orders for treatment involved minor children whose lives were in imminent risk without it, and whose parents refused consent. The rationale being that the children would want to live, if they were able to state their own wishes.>>

    Isn't this exactly the situation in the case we are discussing?


    I know it sounds like we're splitting hairs here, but those cases involved treating the children directly, not forcing treatment on an unwilling mother carrying the children.
  12. by   jbro
    i think she should get first degree murder for the premeditated killing of a viable human being

    Quote from crankyasanoldma
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...649EST0799.DTL


    (03-11) 13:49 PST SALT LAKE CITY (AP) --

    A pregnant woman who allegedly ignored medical warnings to have a Caesarean section to save her twins was charged Thursday with murder after one of the babies was stillborn.

    Prosecutors said Melissa Ann Rowland, 28, didn't want the scars that accompany the surgery.

    An autopsy found that the baby died two days before its Jan. 13 delivery and that it would have survived if Rowland had had a C-section when her doctors urged her to, between Christmas and Jan. 9. The other baby is alive, but authorities had no further information.

    The doctors had warned that without a C-section, the twins would probably die, authorities said. A nurse told police that Rowland said a Caesarean would "ruin her life" and she would rather "lose one of the babies than be cut like that."

    "We are unable to find any reason other than the cosmetic motivations by the mother" for her decision, said Kent Morgan, spokesman for the district attorney.

    Court documents give no address for Rowland, and she isn't listed in area telephone books.

    The charges carry five years to life in prison. She was jailed on $250,000 bail.

    It was not immediately clear whether she had an attorney.

    According to the documents, Rowland went to LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City in December to seek advice after she hadn't felt her babies move. A nurse, Regina Davis, told police she instructed Rowland to go immediately to one of two other hospitals, but that Rowland said she would rather have both babies die before going to either place.

    On Jan. 2, a doctor at LDS Hospital examined Rowland and recommended an immediate C-section based on an ultrasound and the babies' slowing heart rates. Rowland left, the doctor told police.

    The same day, Rowland allegedly saw a nurse at another hospital, saying she had left LDS Hospital because the doctor wanted to cut her "from breast bone to pubic bone," a procedure that would "ruin her life." The nurse also told investigators that Rowland said she would rather "lose one of her babies than be cut like that."

    A week later, Rowland allegedly went to a third hospital to verify whether her babies were alive. A nurse there told police she could not detect a heartbeat from one twin and advised Rowland to remain in the hospital, but Rowland ignored the advice.
  13. by   ktwlpn
    it's funny to me that we just keep going around in circles on this subject...and people continue to post their opinions that are based on faulty or incomplete info....It's a shame to see so many nurses being so judgemental....especially when we are talking about mental illness.This attitude is prevalent on this board (as it is in the general public) It does not matter if you are talking about chronic depression,bi-polar,ADHD or schizophrenia.A segment of the population still refuses to accept that psychiatric illness is a real illness-that's partly why truly sick people continue to commit horrific crimes.Their own families fail to recognize that they are really and truly ill and need help....

close