cindy (cali4niachef) wrote in march_2008,


The concepts of informed consent and the right to refuse treatment are supported by constitutional law (the right to privacy and self-determination protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments); federal law (the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act and the Patient Self-Determination Act); international tort law; as well as state laws and stated-mandated medical ethics. They are also covered in the ethical guidelines of the American Medical Association(AMA) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

These laws provide all patients, pregnant or not, with certain fundamental rights:

The right to exercise self-determination and autonomy in making all medical decisions, including the decision to refuse treatment.

The right to bodily integrity. Any form of non-consensual touching or treatment that occurs in a medical setting constitutes battery.

The right to be provided with the necessary information on which to base medical decisions, including a diagnosis; recommended treatments and alternatives; the risks, benefits, discomforts and potential disabilities of proposed medical treatments; realistic expectation of outcomes; a second opinion; and any financial or research interests a physician may have in proposing certain treatments.

The right to be informed of any potentially life-threatening consequences of a proposed treatment, even if the likelihood of experiencing such and an outcome is rare.

The right to make medical decisions free from coercion or undue influence from physicians.

The right to have informed medical decisions witnessed, signed, and documented by the attending physician and another adult.

The right to revoke consent to treatment at any time, either verbally or in writing.

Source: Born in the USA by Marsden Wagner

~ Cindy
(mama to 26 month old nursling, childbirth junkie, coffee addict, Breastfeeding Peer Counselor and aspiring midwife)

"It is curious commentary on our society that we tolerate
all degrees of explicitness in our literature and mass media as regards sex and violence, but the normal act of breast feeding is taboo" - American Academy of Pediatrics

"If you don't know your options, you don't have any."
- Diana Korte, A Good Birth, A Safe Birth
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