Providers' Good Faith Report to DCF regarding Birth Mother's Alcohol Consumption Was Immune from Liability

January 17, 2024 | Strategic Insights for Health System


A pregnant patient provided a urine sample that tested positive for alcohol at 23-weeks pregnant. She disclosed to her obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/GYN) that prior to becoming pregnant, she experienced binge drinking episodes and that during pregnancy, she would "occasionally enjoy wine on the weekends with dessert or certain foods." Urine tests conducted during two subsequent visits were negative for alcohol.

The full-term baby was delivered without signs of fetal alcohol syndrome. The birth mother's urine at the time of delivery tested negative for alcohol. She had, however, disclosed to a hospital attendant that she consumed approximately one glass of wine per week during her pregnancy. The birth mother's OB/GYN visited the patient in the early morning two days after she gave birth and discussed the delivery with the on-call delivering physician. After this visit, pediatric staff informed the patient that she would need to meet...

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