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Burton v. State of Florida Court-Ordered Bedrest Trial is Underway

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The New York Times reported that arguments are under way today in the First District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee, Florida, in the case of Samantha Burton, who was confined against her will to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital in March 2009.

Here is the coverage on The Unnecesarean last August when her story broke.


Woman Ordered by State to Submit to Hospital Confinement, Cesarean 

In March 2009, mother of two Samantha Burton, was suffering pregnancy complications in her twenty-fifth week of pregnancy. At the state’s request, the Leon County Circuit Court ordered that Burton, who allegedly did not comply fully with recommendations regarding bed rest and smoking cessation,  be indefinitely confined against her will to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and submit to any and all medical treatments, bed rest, and other interventions, including cesarean section. In the words of the court, Burton must submit to anything that “the unborn child’s attending physician,” deemed necessary to “preserve the life and health of Samantha Burton’s unborn child.”  Continue reading…


ACLU Files Amicus Brief in Support of Woman Hospitalized Against Will

The ACLU and the ACLU of Florida filed the following amicus brief in support of a mother of two who was confined at 25 weeks pregnant to a hospital and forced to undergo a cesarean against her will. Click over to read HTML version of the amicus brief.



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Reader Comments (4)

Its an awful thing that a patient can be confined against their will for any reason. Patients are autonomous and are not beholden to doctors. We are here to give our best advice. Patients can take it or leave it. On top of it all, bedrest has never been shown to increase latency to deliver in preterm labor cases, even in well controlled trials.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Fogelson

Dr. Fogelson you might just change my mind about OBs.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

Thank you for your comment. I have article open from this morning that says, "It is the physician’s obligation not to eliminate risk, but to help patients weigh risk, benefit, and potential harm, informed by best scientific evidence and guided by a patient-centered ethic." Your comment reminded me of it.

January 13, 2010 | Registered CommenterJill

This is not the first time the State of Florida has taken liberties with pregnant women. Anyone else remember the name Laura Pemberton?

January 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMonkey Mama
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