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Mothers alcohol use shown on medical records

(249 Posts)
RegularHumanBartender Wed 16-Sep-20 15:24:44

I have just stumbled across this on the Sky news homepage and I am horrified. I have no words! Apologies if there is already a thread, I did scan the first page but I couldn't see one.

Talk about reducing women to sacred incubators! I am struggling to form sentences I am so incensed by this. Not sure if this is even the right place to post.

news.sky.com/story/mothers-alcohol-use-could-soon-be-shown-on-childs-medical-record-prompting-privacy-fears-12073153

OP’s posts: |
Cynara Wed 16-Sep-20 15:27:02

I find this very sinister too, OP. There are plenty of groups/people who would absolutely love to have a bit more control over women and this is a terrifying step onto a slippery slope in my opinion.

OvaHere Wed 16-Sep-20 15:29:21

There's a thread ongoing in AIBU but I think it belongs here too.
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/4025058-To-think-that-recording-pregnant-womens-drinking-is-pointless-as-well-as-invasive

I don't think self reported data on all women is the best way to research incidence of FAS. Properly funded clinical studies with consent should be set up if they want to understand the condition and risk factors better.

EightWellies Wed 16-Sep-20 15:31:02

Oh FFS 🙄. Have you got any idea what a struggle it is to get Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder diagnosed and how much easier it will be if this is brought in? Early diagnosis and putting in the right supports early are the keys to supporting kids with FASD to live happy, healthy lives. I'm not that bothered about your 'right' to a sneaky shandy tbh.

FlorenceNightshade Wed 16-Sep-20 15:33:00

It’s not about women being “sacred incubators” it’s giving health professionals all the information relating to their patient, even if the patient is an infant. If it was relating to drug use would that be different?

Enough cannot be done to invest in early years and early experiences even pre birth ones. Highlighting potential areas of concern is only a good thing. It becomes very obvious very quickly if there is a problem in a family or not

RegularHumanBartender Wed 16-Sep-20 15:33:06

I agree with you Cynara in that it is a slippery slope. I can't see this doing a single bit of good either. Surely pregnant women who do have alcohol/addiction issues will just not engage with medical appointments to avoid this from going on record.

OP’s posts: |
RegularHumanBartender Wed 16-Sep-20 15:34:54

If it was relating to drug use would that be different

I would feel the same if it was related to drug use. As I said above, I think it will just force women who actually do need some help to disengage,

I don't believe that women lose autonomy to make decisions about what they put in their bodies just because they are pregnant.

OP’s posts: |
Batshitbeautycosmeticsltd Wed 16-Sep-20 15:34:55

EightWellies

Oh FFS 🙄. Have you got any idea what a struggle it is to get Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder diagnosed and how much easier it will be if this is brought in? Early diagnosis and putting in the right supports early are the keys to supporting kids with FASD to live happy, healthy lives. I'm not that bothered about your 'right' to a sneaky shandy tbh.

People's rights to the confidentiality of their medical records is not yours to give away.

Batshitbeautycosmeticsltd Wed 16-Sep-20 15:36:44

FlorenceNightshade

It’s not about women being “sacred incubators” it’s giving health professionals all the information relating to their patient, even if the patient is an infant. If it was relating to drug use would that be different?

Enough cannot be done to invest in early years and early experiences even pre birth ones. Highlighting potential areas of concern is only a good thing. It becomes very obvious very quickly if there is a problem in a family or not

It's about putting women off engaging with health professionals at all.

EightWellies Wed 16-Sep-20 15:36:58

batshit And the child's right to their own medical information?

2020isnotbehaving Wed 16-Sep-20 15:37:28

Is the support afforded to FASD unique to that illness? It seems they are saying the child will not be afforded support or a ECHP plan with the right care unless they 100% know. Surely the type of care would be similar to many other illness and spectrums?

RegularHumanBartender Wed 16-Sep-20 15:39:27

And the child's right to their own medical information

Where would you draw that line? There are a great many things that pregnant women can choose to do that could be classed as risky.

OP’s posts: |
Mizzler Wed 16-Sep-20 15:41:11

Women are under no obligation to refrain from alcohol or drug consumption in pregnancy, nor should they be.

I am in the middle of a miscarriage at the moment, but should I get pregnant again, there is no way I would consent to answering these questions.

No-one has a right to force another person to do anything with their body, nor to have access to private medical information, not even a foetus or infant.

Mizzler Wed 16-Sep-20 15:42:31

EightWellies

batshit And the child's right to their own medical information?


Are men going to be asked about their drinking habits pre-conception? It is the child's medical information after all...

No? I wonder why? hmm

FireUnderTheHand Wed 16-Sep-20 15:43:58

EightWellies

Oh FFS 🙄. Have you got any idea what a struggle it is to get Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder diagnosed and how much easier it will be if this is brought in? Early diagnosis and putting in the right supports early are the keys to supporting kids with FASD to live happy, healthy lives. I'm not that bothered about your 'right' to a sneaky shandy tbh.

It isn't about a 'right o a sneaky shandy' it is about women's right to privacy in regards to their medical records.

RegularHumanBartender Wed 16-Sep-20 15:45:00

I am sorry to hear that Mizzler flowers Hope you are OK.

OP’s posts: |
MrsTerryPratchett Wed 16-Sep-20 15:47:19

There was a study done in Canada (goodness knows I can't find it) which found that in active drug using mothers who were homeless, the outcomes for the children were dire. However, when they were enrolled in a non-judgmental housing program that offered accommodation, counselling, freedom from male violence, an exit from street sex work and antenatal nutrition/care etc. their outcomes were great, even if they continued to use drugs.

It is very interesting to me that alcohol and drug use in pregnancy is so important to control while freedom from male violence might actually improve outcomes. Most of the women I know who drank heavily in pregnancy were either currently living through or had survived abuse. Deal with that, you deal with FAS and drug impacted children.

Mizzler Wed 16-Sep-20 15:49:25

That's very interesting indeed @MrsTerryPratchett.

Much easier to try to control women's behaviour than tackle male violence I suppose.

Mizzler Wed 16-Sep-20 15:49:56

RegularHumanBartender

I am sorry to hear that Mizzler flowers Hope you are OK.


I'm lucky and I have good support, so I'm holding up. Thank you.

Batshitbeautycosmeticsltd Wed 16-Sep-20 15:51:02

MrsTerryPratchett

There was a study done in Canada (goodness knows I can't find it) which found that in active drug using mothers who were homeless, the outcomes for the children were dire. However, when they were enrolled in a non-judgmental housing program that offered accommodation, counselling, freedom from male violence, an exit from street sex work and antenatal nutrition/care etc. their outcomes were great, even if they continued to use drugs.

It is very interesting to me that alcohol and drug use in pregnancy is so important to control while freedom from male violence might actually improve outcomes. Most of the women I know who drank heavily in pregnancy were either currently living through or had survived abuse. Deal with that, you deal with FAS and drug impacted children.

Exactly, but it's so much easier to take the lazy approach, cheaper, too.

OvaHere Wed 16-Sep-20 15:54:28

MrsTerryPratchett

There was a study done in Canada (goodness knows I can't find it) which found that in active drug using mothers who were homeless, the outcomes for the children were dire. However, when they were enrolled in a non-judgmental housing program that offered accommodation, counselling, freedom from male violence, an exit from street sex work and antenatal nutrition/care etc. their outcomes were great, even if they continued to use drugs.

It is very interesting to me that alcohol and drug use in pregnancy is so important to control while freedom from male violence might actually improve outcomes. Most of the women I know who drank heavily in pregnancy were either currently living through or had survived abuse. Deal with that, you deal with FAS and drug impacted children.

This is a great point. Anecdotally the only child I know who has a diagnosis of FASD was born to a woman who suffered horrendous domestic violence and was almost murdered whilst pregnant. Sadly she died young from the effects of alcoholism. I have no doubt it was triggered by DV.

Cynara Wed 16-Sep-20 15:56:07

I'm in complete agreement about this being the easy, cheap option (with the added bonus of only oppressing women, so that's all fine, nothing to worry about there) when taking a holistic view inclusive of the impact of male behaviour/violence is much harder work/difficult to achieve/unlikely to garner support from (male) policymakers. I also think the "it's the child's medical history" argument is flawed, because unless you keep pregnant women in a cage throughout their pregnancy, they are liable to make choices every day that could be viewed as risky. Almost like they're people rather than mobile incubators.

EnglishRain Wed 16-Sep-20 16:06:01

Does anyone remember the news story about the woman who had a baby and could have been told about her DF's Huntington's but wasn't? Pretty sure it was ruled that she had no right to know. So how can it be right for a mother's alcohol consumption during pregnancy to be shared?

hopefulhalf Wed 16-Sep-20 16:09:20

In our trust this information is already on the infant's record, along with HIV and Hep B status. All three pieces of information are critical to providing appropriate early care for babies.

FlorenceNightshade Wed 16-Sep-20 16:19:43

@Batshitbeautycosmeticsltd it becomes obvious from how women do or do not engage what kind of support they need.

Asking about drug/alcohol use isn’t about oppressing the mother but about ensuring the child’s needs can be met. Early intervention is crucial. There will always be women that don’t engage for many reasons, and when they don’t attend appointments or answer questions then it is obvious to staff that they need support.

You can’t give a mother confidentiality if it puts a child at risk. It’s not that hard to understand.

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