Rinat Dray, a Brooklyn mom, is filing a lawsuit against a hospital in New York that alleges that a doctor forced her to have a C-section against her will.
According to The Guardian, the lawsuit alleges that a doctor at the Staten Island University Hospital employed an internal policy that allows doctors to overrule a pregnant woman’s medical decisions to force Dray to go through a C-section in 2011.
Dray said that as she was about to deliver her third child, doctors began preparing to operate. However, she wanted to give birth naturally, and begged them to give her more time.
"The experience was frightening and degrading," she said in the lawsuit.
Dray had previously given birth to two children via C-section, and wanted to avoid another. She chose to give birth at SIUH because the hospital had low C-section rates compared to other hospitals.
"I don’t have all day for you," she recalled her doctor saying. "If you don’t let me do a caesarean section, the state is going to take your baby away."
The hospital declined to comment on whether or not her doctor actually said this, but did not deny that they forced Dray to have unwanted surgery.
"The probable benefits of C-section significantly outweigh the possible risk to the woman … I have decided to override her refusal to have a C-section," her chart read, according to The Guardian.
The hospital also stated that Dray's doctor explained the medical dangers of going through with a natural birth, but more than that, the case also provides insight into the policies hospitals have on pregnant patients' rights to refuse treatment.
The Guardian was able to see a copy of SIUH's policy, which read that there are circumstances that a doctor can decide that "potential benefits to the fetus of medically indicated treatment may justify using the means necessary to override a maternal refusal of the treatment."
"A patient in a New York hospital has an absolute legal right to refuse treatment," Dray's attorney, Michael Bast, told The Guardian.
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