Prescribing a Possible Birth Defect

Worth the risk?

If a birth defect is a potential side effect, then morning sickness may be worth it.  Although not FDA approved to treat morning sickness, the manufacturer of Zofran, GlaxoSmithKline, encouraged doctors to prescribe this anti-nausea pill to expectant mothers.  In 2009, Zofran was the leading anti-nausea medication prescribed to pregnant women, however, women were not warned of the potential harm this drug could cause their unborn children.  The possible dangers of Zofran did not become known until children were born with birth defects, such as cleft palate, heart, mouth, and musculoskeletal defects, jaundice, club foot, and organ abnormalities.  Typically, Zofran is only used to treat nausea after surgery or chemotherapy.  As a result of so many cases of birth defects linked to Zofran use, many people have chosen to file mass tort lawsuits for compensation. Read more

Pregnant Chicago Inmates No Longer Shackled During Childbirth

Handcuffs, by Flickr user "The.Comedian", licensed via Creative Commons.That title is not a metaphor for anything.  Despite regulations requiring prison guards to undo any restraints on pregnant prison inmates during labor, many women were shackled and strapped down up to and, sometimes, during the delivery of a baby.  Guards apparently ignored not only the law, but also medical personnel pleading for them to unlock the handcuffs to prevent pain, discomfort, or other complications.  The law banning such restraint has been in the books since 1999, but apparently has not been followed by the employees of Cook County Jail.  Some 80 women stepped forward in this class action lawsuit, all to make claims of poor treatment during labor.

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