Dray v. Staten Island University Hospital et al.

November 14, 2016

Rinat Dray, was forced to have cesarean surgery over her express objections. With NAPW’s help, Ms. Dray obtained significant media coverage of her situation and filed a lawsuit against the hospital and two physicians. In its defense, the hospital argues that since a woman in New York can be prohibited from having an abortion after a certain point in her pregnancy, she may also be denied every other right including the right to bodily integrity and the right to refuse surgery. According to the hospital, this means that doctors may substitute their decisions for that of pregnant patients. Unfortunately, a NY trial court issued a ruling that adopts this view. This ruling is particularly disappointing and dangerous because it suggests for the first time that pregnant patients may be forced to undergo surgery without even a pretense of due process – without a court order and based solely on a hospital employee’s opinion about what might be better for a fetus. In October of 2016, NAPW filed an amicus brief in support of Ms. Dray's appeal on behalf of more than 40 experts and organizations. Read the full brief here.