If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.
Pregnancy is a challenging time with many decisions to navigate. Unfortunately, data indicates that numerous non-medical considerations drive provider recommendations, resulting in widespread overuse of invasive interventions that can have negative affects on mother and baby. In this context, it can be difficult for parents to understand whether the care they are receiving is actually medically necessary or motivated by something unrelated -- like provider preference, hospital policy or fear of liability. In addition, studies show many women feel they had no say in the procedures performed on them in labor, and believed that their physician was entitled to make the final decisions in their care.
Whether or not you like your care provider, it is important to understand what your legal rights are. Being an informed consumer increases the chances that your rights will be observed during delivery, which in turn increases the chances that you will have a positive experience and avoid medically unnecessary care that increases your risk for complications.
PRIVATE, IN-HOME EDUCATION: $200 for up to 3 hours of instruction. Fee due in full up front to hold the date. For folks outside of my service area, remote options like phone instruction or Zoom are available. Please contact me to arrange for a date and time!
GROUP CLASSES: $75-$85/couple.
- being a more educated consumer
- more confidence in interacting with your care providers
- improved ability to recognize and redress any violations you may experience
Are you a doula that routinely witnesses abusive obstetric practices, or a childbirth educator looking to elevate your understanding of patients' rights? Introducing:
Beyond the Basics: Birth Rights for Perinatal Professionals
- a more nuanced understanding of the intricacies of the law
- improved ability to counsel your students or clients
- improved understanding of options for redress
Prices will vary and content will differ a bit from the material for parents.
INTRODUCTION TO LEGAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN CHILDBIRTH:
Overview of the specifics and relevance of women's rights in birth, as laid out by the WHO and others.
THE PROBLEM OF MODERN MATERNITY CARE:
Discuss how standard maternity care inevitably clashes with patient rights, and the systemic and individual factors driving rights violations.
LEGALITIES AND ETHICS OF INFORMED CONSENT:
Understand the elements of informed consent, exceptions to the requirement, and the right to refuse unwanted medical intervention. Learn what major medical societies say about consent and patient rights.
BIRTH RIGHTS ON THE GROUND:
Examine how your rights interact with hospital policy, standard of care, medical necessity and blanket consent forms. Unravel misunderstandings about "implied consent" and decisions "against medical advice." Consider the effect of birth plans.
PHILOSOPHICAL ISSUES IN INFORMED CONSENT:
What is “maternal-fetal conflict”? Do obstetricians have "two patients"? How do the notions of fetal personhood and viability impact your rights? Who is "responsible" for outcomes in maternity care?
OTHER PATIENT RIGHTS IN MATERNITY CARE:
Review additional protections for laboring people, including anti-patient dumping laws, privacy, confidentiality and truth in advertising laws, and protections against patient abandonment and discrimination.
THE IMPACT OF BIRTH RIGHTS VIOLATIONS:
Explore the social, health and other costs of birth rights violations, and the movement toward change, including recent high profile cases and available legal, regulatory and other remedies.
STRATEGIES FOR PREVENTION:
Learn how you can give yourself the best chance at a birth where your legal and human rights are observed, including strategies for communicating effectively with care providers and addressing coercive conduct in the moment.
Diana Snyder, doula, lawyer, patient advocate
As a lawyer specializing in women’s legal rights in maternity care, I am pleased to offer one-on-one education sessions to interested women and families, as well as group classes for parents and professionals, to understand the law on women's rights in birth and what you can do to ensure these rights are observed, no matter who you are. We will dive into the intricacies of informed consent and the right to refuse unwanted medical intervention, common violations of patients' rights in maternity care and factors driving these practices, strategies for improved patient-provider communication, avenues for parents to redress violations and threatened violations of birth rights, and more.