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May my obstetrician refuse to deliver me if I have not paid all my bill? Your obstetrician must notify you well in advance that the care rendered you will cease. The obstetrician must allow you sufficient time to locate another obstetrician who is willing to accept the case, otherwise the first obstetrician cannot refuse to treat you. A refusal to treat could pose a serious problem if you are past your seventh month, since many obstetricians will not accept a patient in that time. If you need help, contact your hospital administrator, or your local medical society or, if all else fails, call your attorney.

May the hospital refuse to admit me? If you have been preadmitted and the hospital has not contacted you well in advance and allowed you sufficient opportunity to make other arrangements, it must admit you. If you have not been preadmitted and your physician determines there is an emergency, a public hospital must care for you. It is likely that the courts will impose a similar requirement upon private hospitals as well. (This varies from state to state.)

What if I do not want a certain treatment? The physician must get your consent for all treatments, including a Caesarean section. Have the details of the agreed-upon procedure written on the consent form that you will be asked to sign. In an emergency, your consent will be implied for treatment necessary to preserve your life and health, or that of the baby.

What if they will not let anyone n the delivery room with me after they agreed to do so? First ask the physician why the policy was changed, reviewing your previous agreements. There may be an unexpected medical problem. If you are not satisfied that there is a medical reason, you should call the hospital administrator and your attorney at once. Ask them to discuss the problem with the physician.

May I refuse to have medical student present at my delivery? Yes, but you should make this clear to your obstetrician ahead of time.

Must I pay my physician if someone else delivers my baby? You need only pay one person for the delivery. If your obstetrician is not available, the obstetrician will have an associate deliver you. Your obstetrician will pay the associate with the money you paid to deliver your baby. If neither your obstetrician nor the associate arrives at the delivery, a resident at the hospital may have to deliver the baby. Since resident are paid a salary by the hospital, your obstetrician should refund what you paid for the delivery, unless you agreed to let a resident deliver the baby.

What about the birth certificate? the nurse will fill out the certificate. The physician who delivered the baby must sign the certificate. You should make sure that everything is correct before the certificate is filed. Six weeks after the birth, you should request a copy of the certificate to be sure it was properly recorded.

What if the hospital decides that I cannot keep the baby in the room with me? First, discuss this with your obstetrician to determine the reasons. You may, for example, have a contagious disease that would endanger your baby. If there is no medical reason to keep the baby in the nursery, you should call the hospital administrator and discuss the problem. If you are too ill to go home, you may demand to be transferred to another hospital. If you are well enough to leave, you should tell the administrator that you and the baby will leave the hospital. You can often reach an agreement that satisfies both the hospital and yourself. If you cannot have your baby "room in" because of problems with your roommate, you may demand a new roommate or a private room.

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