The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently considered a case where a Milford woman was charged with Murder when she gave birth without medical assistance that resulted in the death of the baby (the baby was later found in the trash).
In its decision, the Court refused to impose a duty upon women that they must seek medical intervention when undergoing unassisted childbirth. The court thereby affirms a person’s protected liberty interest in refusing unwanted medical treatment.
In this case, the Massachusetts woman realized she was pregnant after missing her period and then taking a home pregnancy test. She didn’t tell anyone about the pregnancy and chose not to see a doctor. Approximately 6 months later, the woman believed she was experiencing a miscarriage and her water broke. After 5 minutes, the baby emerged from her body but was blue.