Woman refuses CS, charged with murder

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    (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.
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  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    well what else can they do? can't exactly force a csection on anyone. the woman sounds certifiable and should NOT have kids at all in my opinion. this case is sad and shameful. but what can ya do?
  4. by   fergus51
    I'm with you Deb. We aren't allowed to strap women to operating tables if they refuse a cesarean. it's so sad.
  5. by   KMSRN
    I don't see how they can charge her with murder. If a baby's life is based on the choice of the mother, then allowing one twin to die could not be considered murder. If that sticks then they could charge women who have late term abortions with murder. :stone
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I agree; I cannot see how murder charges can stick. That makes no sense. The consequences of her decision were grave, but it's not murder to me. Nope. Just pure and simple stupidity and vanity, and sadly not offenses for which we can convict her.
  7. by   duckboy20
    I agree with you KMSRN but I also am against abortion so that probably sways my vote a little, this is a sad case, for the baby.
  8. by   Darchild77
    Can anyone think of a more suitable punishment or charge than murder?(this is a question, I'm not saying murder is an apprpriate charge-so please don't misunderstand)
  9. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from crankyasanoldma

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

    Glad she had her priorities in order . "Mommy where's my brother/sister?" "Oh sweetie they're in heaven because I didn't want a scar". Words do not describe that supposed human being.
  10. by   BRANDY LPN
    Quote from Darchild77
    Can anyone think of a more suitable punishment or charge than murder?(this is a question, I'm not saying murder is an apprpriate charge-so please don't misunderstand)
    Heck I'll bite, I think that a full social service investigation (at the least) should be done, what if this woman decides that she doesn't want bags under her eyes and chooses to not get up with the remaining child at night, ect. I don't know how I feel on the murder charge (other than I don't think it will stick) but I do know I believe that she should not have custody of that baby.IMHO.
  11. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    She shouldn't be allowed to have custody of the this one, she's already proved how little she thought of the other one.
  12. by   Darchild77
    I don't know much about legal issues, but yes I would also think that she should not have custody. Is this a possible outcome? I am just hoping that something is done in this situation!!!
  13. by   BRANDY LPN
    I don't see how she could be found mentally stable enough to be granted custody but heck Im not a lawyer.
  14. by   kimtab
    Murder implies willful intent. I might go for child endangerment, if what she did wasn't criminal- it clearly had serious consequences for one of her children. It sounds like the law in the State where she lives might support that charge.

    Or she might just punish herself for the rest of her life more efficiently than anyone else ever could. I don't know how she feels or what she went through just from reading the newspaper. I do believe that she should be evaluated before she is allowed to raise the other child. She has a history of bad parenting decisions already.