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Court delivers controversy (court order for woman to have C Section)
Times Leader ^ | 1/16/2004 | DAVID WEISS

Posted on 01/16/2004 8:21:42 AM PST by Born Conservative

Mom rejects C-sections; gives birth on own terms By DAVID WEISS dweiss@leader.net

WILKES-BARRE - A judge late Wednesday afternoon gave a local hospital permission to force a woman to deliver a baby via Caesarean section against her will. Doctors warned the expectant mother that not having a C-section could kill her and/or her child. But against doctor's orders, Amber Marlowe left the hospital.

Hours later, Wilkes-Barre General Hospital received legal permission to become guardian of the fetus and perform the C-section if Marlowe returned to the hospital.

Marlowe never returned. She gave birth vaginally Thursday morning at Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton to a baby girl, her and her husband's seventh child. Court papers said it was her seventh pregnancy in seven or eight years. The Marlowes said the mother and infant are healthy.

Attorneys for General Hospital sought the highly unusual action through a lawsuit because its doctors said Marlowe, who went to the hospital Tuesday night, adamantly refused to deliver the fetus by C-section because of "religious" beliefs.

Her refusal came after warnings by doctors that a vaginal delivery could result in death for the fetus because it was expected to weigh 13 pounds. They also were concerned with complications Marlowe had in other pregnancies.

The hospital was acting to "preserve and protect the rights of (the fetus) regarding its health and survival," the hospital's attorney, Mary G. Cummings, wrote in court papers.

Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael Conahan late Wednesday afternoon approved the request.

Marlowe's husband, John, said the hospital made up the story, including the part about the religious beliefs and the fetus' size, after its staff was "arrogant" in trying to force Marlowe to have a C-section.

His wife was initially cleared to give a vaginal birth at General, but doctors held her at the hospital for 13 hours, telling her "horror stories" in trying to change her mind, he said.

"They just kept telling me to do a Caesarean section," Amber Marlowe said. "They were forcing me in to it."

The events began to unfold Tuesday when the Marlowes, of Academy Street in Plymouth, first went to Mercy Hospital in Wilkes-Barre to give birth.

According to Cummings' court papers, which identify the Marlowes as Jane and John Doe for confidentiality reasons:

The couple went to Mercy Hospital where the staff advised them a C-section should be performed for the protection of the mother and fetus.

The couple refused, insisting the fetus be delivered vaginally, and left the hospital.

Later, the couple went to the emergency room at General Hospital, which is part of Wyoming Valley Health Care System.

Drs. Lynne Coslett and Stephen Zeger on Tuesday and Wednesday repeatedly told the Marlowes a C-section was necessary.

But the Marlowes again refused.

"Jane Doe and John Doe have made it clear that they are adamant that they will not consent to a C-section, regardless of the danger that a vaginal delivery presents to Baby Doe," Cummings wrote. "There exists the imminent threat of irreparable harm to Baby Doe in the absence of an immediate order."

John Marlowe said the hospital's request is full of "lies," and is considering taking legal action against General Hospital.

He said his wife wanted a vaginal delivery because all of her prior six births were done that way, including births of children larger than her newborn. A friend of Amber Marlowe also died from a C-section, making her wary of the procedure, the couple said.

"It's up to the mother," said John Marlowe, who has lived in the area for just more than one year. "They insisted she have a C-section."

Amber Marlowe said she had no religious concerns about the procedure. John Marlowe said his family practices typical Christianity, and he does not belong to any radical sect.

The hospital court papers also say during a prior Marlowe birth, a fetus suffered a "shoulder dystocia." That's an obstetric emergency that can severely injure the mother and fetus.

That, John Marlowe said, is also untrue. So is the allegation that the ultrasound showed the fetus at 13 pounds, he said, adding the test showed the infant was just more than 11 pounds. The infant weighed less than 13 pounds at birth, Amber Marlowe said.

John Marlowe did not want the precise weight revealed, and he refused to reveal his or his wife's age. The couple has been married for more than nine years, John Marlowe said.

Conahan's court order gave the hospital permission to notify the Marlowes of the court order if they had returned to General Hospital. Cummings said the ruling was the first of its kind in Pennsylvania.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: obstetrics
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1 posted on 01/16/2004 8:21:45 AM PST by Born Conservative
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To: Born Conservative
Looks like the God-like doctors were wrong, again.
2 posted on 01/16/2004 8:24:48 AM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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To: Born Conservative
Guardian of the fetus?

But, but, I thought it was just tissue.

3 posted on 01/16/2004 8:26:31 AM PST by Britton J Wingfield
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To: Born Conservative
It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that a C-section is a much more expensive procedure than a vaginal borth now would it?

Naaaah, couldn't be that.

Scumbag hospital.
4 posted on 01/16/2004 8:26:35 AM PST by Bikers4Bush (Bush and Co. are quickly convincing me that the Constitution Party is our only hope.)
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To: Born Conservative
Sounds like the revenue was short this month.
5 posted on 01/16/2004 8:27:29 AM PST by US_MilitaryRules (Daddy needs a Hummer! The H2 will do!)
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To: Born Conservative
The hospital was acting to "preserve and protect the rights of (the fetus) regarding its health and survival," the hospital's attorney, Mary G. Cummings, wrote in court papers.

Re: PBA. Now I'm really confused. </SARCASM>

6 posted on 01/16/2004 8:30:03 AM PST by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: Born Conservative
"Slave! We own your body! Your kind cannot survive without our overseers! Return to the hospital or feel the sting of the lash!"
7 posted on 01/16/2004 8:31:16 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (France delenda est)
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To: Born Conservative
Freakin' amazing society we live in; if she wanted to abort the baby and ensure its death, no problem; but to give birth normally and endure a possible risk (it's all risky anyway) and the same courts step in to thwart the woman's "free choice".

How about we use cases like this before appointing judges to the bench - if they try to rationalize why it makes sense, can them and make sure they never get into a position of influence. A couple decades of that and we may restore some common sense and sanity.

8 posted on 01/16/2004 8:35:17 AM PST by trebb (Ain't God good . . .)
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To: Born Conservative
A judge late Wednesday afternoon gave a local hospital permission to force a woman to deliver a baby via Caesarean section against her will. Doctors warned the expectant mother that not having a C-section could kill her and/or her child. But against doctor's orders, Amber Marlowe left the hospital. Hours later, Wilkes-Barre General Hospital received legal permission to become guardian of the fetus and perform the C-section if Marlowe returned to the hospital.


How can a hospital get a court order to become the guardian of a fetus just because the patient doesn't want to do something that they [the doctors] think they should?
9 posted on 01/16/2004 8:35:22 AM PST by armyboy (Posting from Sustainer Army Airfield Balad, Iraq. All Gave Some...Some Gave All)
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To: Britton J Wingfield
As it should be, for legal purposes. This court used the "fetus is a person" theory to justify allowing a hospital to carve a woman open against her will. It's her decision what risks to take, based on her own values and beliefs -- and it appears she made a perfectly reasonble decision here, with good results. Thankfully, she managed to escape the clutches of these arrogant doctors and their hostile-to-liberty co-conspirator on the bench.
10 posted on 01/16/2004 8:37:35 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: Born Conservative
This is ALL about more $$$ for the Doc/Hospital!
11 posted on 01/16/2004 8:39:52 AM PST by ChefKeith (NASCAR...everything else is just a game!)
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To: Born Conservative
In some places, the mother could abort and kill the baby the day prior to delivery. But here she's not allowed to decide whether to take the risk of vaginal delivery for herself and the baby.

12 posted on 01/16/2004 8:40:50 AM PST by lady lawyer
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To: Bikers4Bush
"...It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that a C-section is a much more expensive procedure than a vaginal borth now would it? .."

The reason was almost certainly the prevention of possible lawsuits against the doctor and/or the hospital. When I did my maternity training (I'm an RN), I found out it was fairly common to get risky mothers into minor distress using drugs that speed delivery, to get medical reasons to perform a C-section. Two or three "late decels" (baby's pulse slows at the end of a contraction) and it's c-section city. They are MUCH less risky than vaginal deliveries, and reduce the possible legal ramifications when they are medically necessary. I'd bet money that the docs and hospital exaggerated the case, because they didn't want to risk liability. Also, if they can medically justify it, insurance has to pay for it.
13 posted on 01/16/2004 8:41:01 AM PST by jim35 (A vote for Tancredo is a vote for the DemocRATs.)
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To: Born Conservative
......The hospital was acting to "preserve and protect the rights of (the fetus) regarding its health and survival," the hospital's attorney, Mary G. Cummings, wrote in court papers....

How can a judge under ROE VS. WADE order a C-section. If the mother has the "right" to abort, she must also have the "right" to have a natural birth! This article demonstrates what the bible describes,.. calling righteousness wicked, and wickedness righteous...
14 posted on 01/16/2004 8:41:10 AM PST by duk
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To: facedown
You bet "it's confusing!"

How come they didn't protect the welfare of the millions of fetuses (Sp?) that were murdered with so-called legal abortions.

15 posted on 01/16/2004 8:41:46 AM PST by GOPologist
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To: Bikers4Bush

16 posted on 01/16/2004 8:43:11 AM PST by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL (If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
"...Thankfully, she managed to escape the clutches of these arrogant doctors and their hostile-to-liberty co-conspirator on the bench..."

All true, but I'm kind of torn here. After all, this is a true mixed bag. On the one hand, the court once again plays the tyrant. On the other hand, it granted the unborn child some rights. Hmm. Talk about mixed emotions!
17 posted on 01/16/2004 8:43:35 AM PST by jim35 (A vote for Tancredo is a vote for the DemocRATs.)
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To: ChefKeith

18 posted on 01/16/2004 8:47:55 AM PST by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL (If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.)
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To: facedown
Exactly my thoughts! I thought that a "fetus" didn't qualify for any rights hence it could legally be murdered! The law and the medical community can't have it both ways!

That's like saying a doctor can legally perform the murder of an unborn child and no charges will be levied but if someone comes along and kills the mother and the unborn child dies as a consequence, said murderer is guilty of 2 deaths.....?????

The left wants it both ways to suit their needs at any given time! F^#*!ng hypocrites..the lot of them! I despise all of those on the left.
19 posted on 01/16/2004 8:53:23 AM PST by 2nd amendment mama
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To: Britton J Wingfield
This is a very interesting development. Guardian of a fetus? I thought they didn't have rights (sarcasm).

If anything, this might open up the door to getting abortion banned (I am an eternal optimist but realistic).
20 posted on 01/16/2004 8:54:27 AM PST by atruelady
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