I've recently been introduced to a BRILLIANT peice of federal legislation called the Emergency Treatment and Advanced Labor Act (EMTALA). I realise this is the homebirth board but I think it's important that we all know this so heres a bit on the bill, as written by my friend Reyvene.
This is taken from the Winter 2006 - Number 76 issue of Midwifery Today:
"The federal Emergency Treatment and Advanced Labor Act (EMTALA) requires hopsitals to admit women in active labor and to abide by their treatment wishes until the baby and placenta are delivered." The act was originally passed to prevent hospitals from "dumping" patients who can't pay, but its since been applied in all sorts of other ways and includes specific provisions that apply to laboring women.
The attorneys we've consulted on the VBAC ban issue have told us that hosptials are much more afraid of being found in violation of EMTALA than they are of malpractice suits because the act is routinely enforced and each violation subjects them to fines between $50,000 and $100,000.
I can't emphasize enough the importance to individuals who may find themselves in this situation of memorizing phrases such as "It's a violation of my rights under EMTALA to force me to undergo a cesarean," or "I'm invoking my right under EMTALA to refuse a, b, c." Whether the hospital in question says it bans VBACs is unimportant; according to EMTALA, you have the right to be admitted to a hospital once you're in active labor and, once admitted, you have the right to
refuse any recommended treatment. You can also remind them that VBAC isn't a tratement, it's the natural culmination of a normal physiological process. Cesareans are the treatment.
Also, it's helpful to know that EMTALA begins to apply once you are anywhere within 250 feet of a hospital; you don't have to be in the emergency room. You can be standing in the hospital parking lot, and if they so much as touch you against your express consent, they are in violation of EMTALA."
Your Right to Refuse
This article is extremely important to any women who needs to transfer to the hospital or who decides to birth there for whatever reason, as well as women who have assisted pregnancies while planning a UC. It lets you know exactly what you are legally entitled to and what they cannot do against your will, which is, point of fact, ANYTHING!
This site helps with women who find themselves with a breech birth, and how such an occurance does not mean an automatic c-section, especially for those of us going unassisted.
Birthing a Breech Baby
This site gives some specifics with how to birth a breech baby, goes nicely with the previous link for those of you who need this information.
Right to Refuse Medical Treatment
Constitutional rights we are all entitled to.
Get Your Baby Lined Up!
This link takes you to an article that gives excellent explanations on how to turn babies and how to birth them even when they won't turn. Many women have c-sections for posterior babies, which is absolutely unnecessary!
The Myth of Gestational Diabetes
Explains in a variety of links and discussions how gestational diabetes testing does not improve outcomes and expresses doubt that there even is such a thing.
This is just a beginning and focuses mostly on legalities, vbac with variations that landed us with c-sections in the first place, and statistics to help us understand how rare it is to actually have a uterine rupture and that when it does happen (without it being caused by medical interventions) it is a true unavoidable medical emergency that can happen to any woman anytime she gives birth.
I hope this helps, add any links or new information related to this as you find it.
I also highly recommend you all join the yahoo ubac group, it is yet another source of encouragement and support with women who are doing exactly what we are.
Edited to C/P for x-posting.
WOW, what awesome information! I knew there had to be something like this, i'm so tired of women saying that they are going along with something they know is wrong just b/c their doc recomends it.
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