Brickbats

Brickbat: A Familiar Tale

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The Alabama Department of Human Resources took Rebecca Hernandez's baby away from her after a drug test administered to Hernandez four hours after she gave birth showed she had opiates in her system. A later test showed no trace of drugs, and the state returned the child. Her doctor found Hernandez ate poppy seed bread the day before she gave birth and thinks that produced a false positive. The doctor says same-day drug tests are more prone to error and hospitals should rely only on lab tests before alerting the state to any problems. The hospital where Hernandez have birth, Crestwood Medical Center,  said in a statement that it is "committed to following the law and regulatory requirements as well as ensuring the health and safety of our patient."

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28 responses to “Brickbat: A Familiar Tale

  1. We need common sense poppy seed laws.

    1. Poppy seeds are a gateway to harder foods.

    2. Exactly: BAN POPPY SEED CAKES!

      They obviously cause only trouble, for both users and authorities.

      Anyway, why does anyone *need* a poppy seed cake?

      1. At least not with that many seeds.

        1. 10 seed maximum?

  2. “committed to following the law and regulatory requirements as well as ensuring the health and safety of our patient.”

    Reads more like an either/or – – – – –

    1. I thought there were patient confidentiality laws. Regulatory requirements would be secondary to the law. Did the patient give informed consent to the blood test knowing that the hospital would be checking not just for medical purposes but for law enforcement purposes as well? While the woman was in labor, did the hospital take the opportunity to check up her ass to see if there was any sort of contraband up in there? Ask her a panel of leading and potentially incriminating questions once she was drugged up real nice? If she drove herself to the hospital did they take the opportunity to get her keys and go search her car? Why aren’t the hospitals and the medical community pushing back against the idea that they can be dragooned into serving as agents of the police state? “First, do no harm” is certainly as expansive as “To serve and protect”, but you’d think highly trained medical professionals would take their motto more seriously than barely-trained thugs.

      1. Did the patient give informed consent to the blood test knowing that the hospital would be checking not just for medical purposes but for law enforcement purposes as well?

        She probably did, as they were shoving a stack of papers at her yelling “you have to sign these!” while she was screaming from a contraction and her water was running down her legs.

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  5. Why did she have to perform a drug test?

    1. It’s all the rage now; universal screening of all OB patients and mandatory reporting the State Child Protection agency of any positive results. A recent USSC case indicated the informed consent is required, but of course that gets put out there with numerous other forms upon admission [so is it really “informed?”].

      Government and NGOs get all over this as an “intervention” to address the problem of drug abuse and see it as a means to impose mandatory counseling and intervention on new mothers. Road to hell, good intentions, right?

      It will take some major lawsuits and financial losses on the part of hospitals for them to get the message and to curb their enthusiasm because they are all pretty much on board with this. To question it means you must be lazy, stupid, or hate children.

      1. You can’t be serious. That’s not true, is it?

        1. It is true.

      2. hell damnit.

  6. Also…Alabama has a government department dedicated to human resources? That sounds terrifying…

    1. Just imagine what the HR weenies are like in *that* place!

      1. The HR department at the HR department…I’m picturing something reptilian.

        1. I thought all HR personnel were reptilian.

  7. Fucking authoritarians.

    What happens when you combine the social welfare industry, righteous child care zealots, drug prohibition paranoiacs, and big nanny staters?

    This.

    1. You forgot predatory lawyers.

  8. Uh… don’t hospitals give women in labor opiates?

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