Westchase Reacts to Doctor’s Threatening Email to Pregnant Woman
A University of South Florida obstetrician is accused of telling a pregnant patient he’d call police if she didn’t report for a caesarean delivery immediately.
An email sent to a pregnant woman by the doctor overseeing her case has raised questions from the legal community and it has Westchase talking about how far is too far when it comes to demanding care for a patient.
Dr. Jerry Yankowitz, chairman of the University of South Florida’s department of obstetrics and gynecology, reportedly sent an overdue patient an email demanding she report immediately to Tampa General Hospital for a caesarean delivery, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The email went on to say if the woman didn’t come in for the surgery, law enforcement would be called to bring her in.
The woman, 35-year-old Lisa Epsteen from Spring Hill, acknowledges the doctor’s concerns stemmed from an ultrasound that raised alarm. She, however, told the Times she felt doctors were over-reacting. She wanted to wait until Friday to have the surgery, the Times said.
Shortly after receiving the email, Epsteen contacted the New York-based National Advocates for Pregnant Women. A lawyer from the organization stepped in to request that Yankowitz cease actions against Epsteen.
"Pregnant women are no different than anybody else in terms of their constitutional and human rights," the Times quoted staff attorney Farah Diaz-Tello as saying. "The threat he was making was both legally and ethically unjustifiable."
The c-section is now scheduled for Friday, but questions surrounding the incident have Westchase area residents talking.
Here’s what Westchase Patch Facebook fans had to say about the issue:
"I agree she should have had the csection right then if her baby was in distress, but you can't force anyone to have surgery," wrote Barbara Belluccio Mason. "It's this whole grey area with pregnant women... Who really owns the fetus ? The mother? The father? The doctor?"
"If a woman has the right to choose to have an abortion, shouldn't she have the right to choose to deliver her baby the way she wants," asked Kristy Kuna. "If this woman is so irresponsible for her decisions, then isn't an abortion an irresponsible decision?"
What do you think, Westchase? Was the doctor in the right or did he go too far? Share your thoughts in the comments section.