obgyn drug testing

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Latest post 08-21-2012 1:01 PM by ClydesMom. 4 replies.
  • 08-21-2012 11:53 AM

    • LP0120
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    obgyn drug testing

    A patient admitted to her obgyn that she used marijuana up until she found out she was pregnant.  The doctor's office informed her that because she admitted it, they would be doing toxicology analysis on her throughout the remainder of her pregnancy.  They told her that it was not for legal ramification, simply for medical informational purposes.  However, she was never given a consent form to sign, authorizing the obgyn to perform toxicology urinalysis, and the whole thing makes the patient very uncomfortable.  The first toxicology report came back and it reads "Results are for medical treatment only.  Analysis was done for non-forensic purposes."  The patient is unclear on what exactly this means.  She is concerned that the obgyn will take legal action against her and she is uncomfortable with having toxicology analysis done on her for the remainder of her pregnancy.  Can the obgyn take legal action against the patient?  Can they turn her in to the police?  Can the patient refuse future toxicology analysis?  If the doctor's office turns over the results of the toxicology report to the authorities, is that a violation of doctor-patient confidentiality?  Please advise.   

  • 08-21-2012 12:10 PM In reply to

    Re: obgyn drug testing

    LP0120:
    However, she was never given a consent form to sign, authorizing the obgyn to perform toxicology urinalysis, and the whole thing makes the patient very uncomfortable.

    When she signed the consent to become a patient she gave permission for lab work to be run that is in the interest of her health or the fetus.

    LP0120:
    The first toxicology report came back and it reads "Results are for medical treatment only.  Analysis was done for non-forensic purposes."  The patient is unclear on what exactly this means.

    It means that the results of the test are to be used for medical treatment decisions only.  The test was not run according to legal protocols regarding chain of custody, storage, and testing parameters.  Therefore it cannot be used by law enforcement or the courts for the purpose of prosecution in a court of law.

    LP0120:
    She is concerned that the obgyn will take legal action against her and she is uncomfortable with having toxicology analysis done on her for the remainder of her pregnancy.  Can the obgyn take legal action against the patient?

    No the physician cannot take any legal action against her for the results.  If state law allows, he can report the continued drug use to DCFS and they could take legal action if required.

    LP0120:
    Can they turn her in to the police?

    No.  Physicians are only mandatory reporters to law enforcement in cases of suspected child abuse.

    LP0120:
    Can the patient refuse future toxicology analysis?

    Yes, but if she truly has stopped using marijuana then she has nothing to worry about on future drug screens.

    LP0120:
    If the doctor's office turns over the results of the toxicology report to the authorities, is that a violation of doctor-patient confidentiality?

    That would depend on state law and even if the physician did the sample was not processed by legal standards and cannot be used for such an effort.  That is what that statement about non-forensic use is about. It cannot be used for prosecution evidence.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 08-21-2012 12:52 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
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    Re: obgyn drug testing

    I doubt there is any issue at this level----but one of my obgyn friends who practices in a major PA city tells me some women in delivery are so spaced out and the newborns are spaced out and go into withdrawl problems that  i n a sesne the staff must report the situation to appropriate authorities --but that if FAR what what you are addressing.

    Dr needs accurate information to accurately address the needs of mom and child.



  • 08-21-2012 12:54 PM In reply to

    • LP0120
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    • Joined on 08-20-2012
    • PA
    • Posts 4

    Re: obgyn drug testing

    The patient is a Pennsylvania resident and the doctor's office is in New Jersey.  The patient has since changed doctors to an office in Pennsylvania, but she is also concerned with the results of the toxicology analysis being included with her medical records and what the new doctor will do with it, if anything.

  • 08-21-2012 1:01 PM In reply to

    Re: obgyn drug testing

    LP0120:
    The patient has since changed doctors to an office in Pennsylvania, but she is also concerned with the results of the toxicology analysis being included with her medical records and what the new doctor will do with it, if anything.

    I have yet to see any ob/gyn that does not run a urine drug screen on a pregnant patient at least twice during the pregnancy (typically at new patient visit and before delivery) to determine if the mother has a drug problem and that subsequently the baby will have issues with the birth/delivery.  Drug use is also of a concern in causing birth defects, low birth weight, and premature delivery.

    The new doctor is unlikely to do anything with the original results as long as she is testing clean.  Again, if she isn't using she has nothing to worry about.  What many people fail to realize is that the physician essentially has two patients:  mom and baby.  If mom is using then the physician has major concerns for the health and viability of the fetus.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

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