The state of Florida cannot compel a pregnant woman to comply with medical treatment to protect the fetus unless the state shows a compelling interest that overrules the woman’s constitutional right to make her own decisions about medical care, a state appellate court ruled Aug. 12, BNA reports.
The split-panel decision by the Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeals involved a case in which a trial court ordered a pregnant mother of two to submit to hospital confinement, medical treatment and a surgical delivery. The woman, who was experiencing complications during her pregnancy, was reported to the attorney general’s office by a health provider after she refused medical treatment. The attorney general’s office initiated a legal procedure to compel the woman to submit to medical treatment.
The trial court ruled that the woman’s refusal of medical treatment placed her pregnancy at high-risk and created a “substantial and unacceptable” risk to her fetus. The trial court said the state’s interests in protecting the fetus superseded the woman’s privacy interests, and she was ordered to comply with her doctor’s orders. The woman submitted to hospitalization, medical treatment and a caesarean delivery, although the fetus was delivered stillborn.
Read more in Women’s Health Policy Report.
Via Medical News Today.