What can you do to prevent problems in labor, and miscommunication with your doctor? My recommendation is to follow the recommended diet, exercise, drink a lot of water, and attend to the prenatal visits.
Never be afraid to ask questions! Why a certain test is being done, what does that word mean, etc. Some things I can assist you with during the Childbirth Education coursework…but asking the questions of your doctor is important. You get to know your doctor, and he/she can get to know you.
Your right as a patient is to have any procedure or test explained by your doctor. Is the particular procedure / test done because it is required? Who requires it? Why is it required? Is it because of doctor concern? What precipitated that concern?
Your doctor is not GOD.
Image by: Huffington Post
It is especially true when you are in labor. SOMEONE, your husband / mother / Doula can be present, and act in your behalf. You can also construct a birth plan, have it placed in your chart…but it’s not always honored.
If the doctor is not responding to your questions or you are not comfortable with the explanation / or attitude of the doctor you still can address the issue. Sometimes just a rewording of your question is helpful. If still you are not being listened to, the following outlines your rights…
HIPPA law outlines a patient’s rights:
To Clear Communication
The AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics clearly states that it is a fundamental ethical requirement that a physician should at all times deal honestly and openly with patients. Patients have a right to know their past and present medical status and to be free of any mistaken beliefs concerning their conditions.
To Informed Consent
Informed consent involves the patient’s understanding of the following:
- What the doctor is proposing to do
- Whether the doctor’s proposal is a minor procedure or major surgery
- The nature and purpose of the treatment
- Intended effects versus possible side effects
- The risks and anticipated benefits involved
- All reasonable alternatives including risks and possible benefits.
Within the perimeters of informed consent, the doctor ethically understands the responsibility of:
- The patient being told what the doctor is going to do
- That the patient is helped to understand the medical implications
- Whether it is a minor or major procedure
- The risks and benefits
- Alternatives with the information about risks and benefits
The patient rights also include:
- Freedom from force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion
- The right to refuse or withdraw without influencing the patient’s future healthcare
- The right to ask questions and to negotiate aspects of treatment
This is hardly possible while in full labor. Informed consent implies that information is given, which would be hard to process while in labor.