In Calif. and what is the ethical thing to do if she is your patient? Maybe I should ask OB forum, but that place gets almost no traffic. Oh if you can provide a link it would be most helpful.
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Originally posted by beyond all hope
There are no laws in the U.S. that prevent a woman from killing her baby with alcohol, cigarettes, or even illicit drugs. Perhaps some inventive prosecutor could call it child abuse...
The only thing to do is present the mother with all of the complications of alcohol abuse. I usually start out with a hard-line approach. "We've confirmed it. Your baby will be born deformed." Let that sink in, then add "if you don't stop drinking immediately."
Working in an inner-city hospital (in Cali), I meet a lot of mothers who are pretty uncaring about their unborn children, or simply in denial that their lifestyle hurts their child. You have to shock them to get them to listen to you.
Then present them with options: AA for example. Remember substance abuse is a disease that is partially genetic, it's not just about willpower. They need help and support.
Originally posted by group_theory
also remember to write in the charts somewhere that the mother-to-be have been strongly advised against continued use of drugs and alcohol
perhaps write also that the patient has received brochures with phone numbers to contact (if she wants help)
remember - a few years later, she might be at home, watching TV, when a lawyer ad will show up saying "is your child not 100% perfect. Is he/she not what you expected your child to be? Well, it's not your fault - I'm *insert name here* and I can get you compensation. I work hard to find $$$ for you. I charge no fee unless you win $$$"
Some people will not accept responsibilities for their own actions ... and look for someone else to blame (and also the potential for money is tempting too)