Federal law mandating hospital pregancy testing alliancedating conm

In six consent forms obtained from patients and a handful of hospitals -- paperwork that patients sign when they check in to deliver their babies -- drug testing is specifically mentioned in only two.None indicate that positive results can trigger arrest and prosecution under the Alabama chemical endangerment statute.At least 15 other states also treat prenatal drug use as child abuse, but only three -- Alabama, South Carolina, and Tennessee -- explicitly allow mothers to be criminally prosecuted. They can face lengthy sentences in Julia Tutwiler Prison, the most notorious women's prison in the United States, and thousands of dollars in fees and fines.

Stephen Patrick, professor of pediatrics and health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Pregnant women must be informed of the potential ramifications of a positive test result, including any mandatory reporting requirements." In 2001, the U. Supreme Court struck down a program in South Carolina that involuntarily tested pregnant drug users solely for law enforcement purposes.

It's unclear how often hospitals in Alabama report positive drug tests directly to law enforcement, but a bill proposed earlier this year by the sheriff of Etowah County, northeast of Birmingham, would have required reporting within two hours whenever a pregnant woman or newborn tested positive.

Hospital testing policies are so opaque that even state health officials say they are in the dark about specifics.

"Some hospitals, any pregnant woman that comes in, they'll test for drugs," said Janice M. There's no consistency there." Does she know which hospitals take which approach? Increasing cases of drug-dependent babies Drug testing is an issue that U. medical providers are increasingly likely to confront.

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