Two Moms Claim They Were Drug Tested During Childbirth Without Consent in Appalling Lawsuits

Two alleged instances of involuntarily drug testing during childbirth led to new moms being baselessly investigated for potential child abuse or neglect. Both moms are now suing the hospitals where they gave birth to ensure this never happens again.

As The Guardian reported, two moms from New Jersey claim they were drug tested without their knowledge or consent when they went to the hospital during labor. Both drug screenings were positive, which prompted investigations into potential child abuse or neglect from the state’s Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP).

But the women insist they were not using opioids while pregnant. Instead, they suspect the poppy seed bagels they ate for breakfast that day caused the ultra-sensitive tests to falsely come back positive.

Poppy seeds don’t contain opium, but they can be contaminated with opiates during the harvesting process, per University of Florida Health. And these kinds of drug tests are notoriously sensitive to opiates, so much so that the United States Defense Department recently warned service members to avoid consuming foods with poppy seeds due to routine screenings.

Needless to say, informed consent is a key part of ethical medicine practices. Drug tests shouldn’t be run without a patient’s knowledge or approval, especially when there is no valid reason to conduct them in the first place.

“I feel violated,” Kaitlin K, one of the mothers involved in the lawsuits, said in a press statement. “This whole ordeal has been extremely stressful and has turned our lives upside down and now, because of what happened, I live in fear of medical tests and how they might be used against me as a mother. I found out later that the lab used a testing threshold far, far lower than what the federal government uses.”

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