Should Hospitals Test Pregnant Women for Drug Use Without Their Consent?

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Should hospitals test pregnant women for drug use without their consent?
Hospitals, during their normal course of treatment should test pregnant women for drugs of any type, whether legal or not. Of course, the patient should be informed of such testing, but consent should not be required. Findings of illegal drugs should be used to educate and treat the mother for an addiction rather than informing law enforcement of such an activity.
Hospitals are in the business of treating people’s ailments and promoting health. Reporting of illegal drug use should be left to law enforcement. An exception to the rule is if the illegal activity is personally witnessed by hospital staff. In cases of pregnancy, the hospital’s duty and obligation is
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This is why hospitals must use drug abuse information gained by testing to educate and treat the addiction. The good that such education and treatment not only benefits mother and child but ripples throughout the entire community and economy.
Hospitals also have a duty and obligation to protect the mother’s right to privacy. Releasing medical and treatment information without their consent is a violation of HIPAA, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and of the Privacy Rule that protects mother’s personal health information from being disclosed, again without consent. Hospitals are to be in compliance of the law but not to enforce it. That should be left to law enforcement to handle. Disclosure to law enforcement without consent may also be a violation of the mother’s 4th Amendment right, the right against unreasonable search and seizure. Again, the mother has the right to privacy; "to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures …", in this case, their medical information and treatment.
Speaking of law enforcement, law enforcement may prosecute the mother of a crime that has not been directly witnessed. Use of illegal drugs is not being condoned, but law enforcement must have first hand knowledge of it to act. Prosecution may serve as a disservice as well. Imprisonment and punishment only

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