Florida Court Orders Pregnant Woman Confined to Bed Rest


Samantha Burton of Tallahassee, Florida was twenty five weeks pregnant when she began to go into premature labor, and went to the hospital on the advice of her doctor. The hospital wanted to keep her on bed rest until her delivery, some three months away. When Burton indicated that she wanted to go home to care for her two toddlers, the hospital obtained a court order to force Ms. Burton to submit to forced bed rest any medical care deemed necessary to sustain the life of her unborn child. For three days, Burton was confined to her bed at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital against her will. At the end of three days, Ms. Burton suffered a miscarriage and was released from the hospital.

She has now enlisted the aid of the Florida American Civil Liberties Union to strike down the court order that took away her power to make her own medical decisions. Burton’s lawyers have argued that the Leon County Court, which issued the original order, has set a “dangerous precedent.” The ACLU is arguing that a woman does not give up her right to determine the course of her own medical care when she becomes pregnant. Ms. Burton’s lawyer has accused the state of acting unconstitutionally by infringing on Ms. Burton’s rights to privacy and liberty.

The Florida Attorney General’s Office has argued that the State of Florida exercised due process by intervening to save the life of Ms. Burton’s unborn child. Read more of the details of this case at Pregnant Woman Fights Court-Ordered Bed Rest.

If you or your child has been injured due to medical malpractice, please contact our Jacksonville, Florida area law firm for child injury lawyer.