We've all heard the stories of the care providers who did things that they weren't supposed to do:
The doctor who tied a woman's tubes unbeknownst to her, because he felt she shouldn't have any more children.
The nurse who made rude comments to a mother about the appearance of her breasts.
Women who ask for medication for pain and are denied for reasons either not stated or monetary reasons.
A woman who did not have her wishes met, despite repeatedly telling her providers over and over.
The doctor who helped women conceive, except he used his own sperm.
These are the headlines these days. Some leave permanent physical scars while others are psychological.
A law suit was filed earlier this week. The mother claims in her $5.5 million lawsuit that her obstetrician carved his initials into her abdomen.
He allegedly used a scalpel to carve a 3 inch by 1 inch area with the initials A Z. He now claims that since this incidence he's been diagnosed with a frontal lobe disorder that is characterized by inappropriate behavior. He agreed to have his medical privileges suspended.
Can this happen to you? What can you do to address these issue when seeking out care?
Here are some ideas to help you protect yourself:
- Much like the Better Business Bureau, every state has a medical organization who collects information and complaints about it's practitioners. This is true of nurses, doctors, midwives, etc. Do not hesitate to ask questions about your care providers reputation, nor should you hesitate to file a complaint. According to some reports this is not the first complaint against the New York doctor.
- There are also many national organizations. For example, the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists would be who you would contact for reports and questions about credentials and statements for the OB/GYN you are interviewing. Other professional agencies.
- Ask other women. Did they feel that this doctor or midwife was appropriate in their behavior? One mother confided to me many years after the birth of her first child that she had been touched inappropriately by her first OB. She had said nothing and merely left. Now she feels that she should have said something. She wound up writing a letter and then found out hers was not the first.
- If you can, find out what the nurses on the labor, delivery and postpartum floors think of this practitioner.
- During the interview process flat out ask the practitioner about any law suits or legalities in the past or pending.
While the majority of practitioners do not act in inappropriate manners, it's worth it to you and your baby to find out before hand.
As for the woman in New York with her doctor's initials, she'll need extensive plastic surgery to remove them. She will probably also need therapy for her feelings of being "violated."
You owe it to yourself to put time and effort into the selection of your doctor, midwife, hospital, birth center, and their staff.