Is there a law that states a pregnant woman needs to receive medical care?

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Is there a law that states a pregnant woman needs to receive medical care?

My sister-in-law recently was pregnant and gave birth to a child that was born stillborn. She did not receive any medical assistance during her pregnancy, was 3+ weeks over her due date, and was assisted by a non-professional woman of their church. She labored for 3 days. Did she break any laws?

Asked on January 14, 2011 under Personal Injury, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, there is a no law requiring a pregnant woman to get medical care. If she wants the care and needs it, she can't be denied it (though she may have to pay for it later; depends on her insurance situation); i.e. if she needed care, she could have gone to an emergency room or public hospital and they would have helped her. But an adult may choose to not receive care for her pregnancy or childbirth. Note that the woman who assisted her, under certain circumstances, could be guilty of having practiced medicine with a license, if she made representations as to her qualifications or certifications, rather than simply helping as friend or acquiantence.


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