A Brooklyn woman is suing her doctors at Staten Island University Hospital, claiming her obstetrician forced her to undergo a caesarian section birth against her will.
The Times reports that Rinat Dray, a 35-year-old mother of three, says that she begged her obstetrician for a natural birth while in labor with her third son in 2011, having undergone two prior C-sections. But her doctor, Leonid Gorelik, reportedly told her that a natural birth would rupture her uterus, likely endangering the fetus; according to Dray, he administered the C-section over her objections on the operating table.
Dray says her bladder was cut during the procedure, and she is now suing Staten Island University Hospital, Gorelik and Dr. James J. Ducey, the hospital's director of maternal and fetal medicine, for malpractice. The suit alleges doctors were "pressuring and threatening" her to have the procedure, claiming she would be committing child abuse if she did not. According to Gorelick's attorneys, he denies forcing her to have a C-section and alleges her "culpable conduct and want of care" resulted in her post-surgical injuries. The hospital, which cannot comment on the case because of the ongoing suit, maintains it has a low C-section rate.
Though C-sections are still popular procedures, many doctors have begun urging patients to forgo them in favor of natural births whenever possible. C-sections account for about thirty percent of all U.S. births—particularly among first-time mothers—but the surgery can still result in complications for both mothers and fetuses. Reports have also indicated that having multiple C-sections can increase risk of complication for mothers.