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Pregnant with Hashimoto's and Doctor Discrimination

By Anonymous April 21, 2009 - 3:20pm
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I have Hashimoto's Disease, a mild case which does not and has never required medication since diagnosed two years ago. I get blood work done every 3 months to make sure my levels are normal. I am 8 weeks pregnant and my medical insurance will go into effect in June.

I decided to pay out of pocket for my first prenatal exam to make sure everything was on track. My husband and I went to the doctor's private practice, paid the $150 fee and I was thereafter seen by the medical assistant who took my vitals and took a urine sample. She then led me to a second examining room where I would meet with the doctor.

The doctor first asked if I had any medical problems. I told him about the Hashimoto's and with further questioning he learned about my insurance situation.

He refused to treat me indicating that I was considered a high risk pregnancy that he could not take the chance citing medical malpractice liabilities. Did not want to refer me to any other OBGYN or Endocrinologist because "his name would be linked to my file," that it wasn't worth his time to treat me for only two months knowing that I would go to a different doctor in June when my insurance would take effect. That I should have pretended he would be my primary OB doc to obtain care. I left with no advice, no prenatal exam, and in tears. I at least got my money back but I will file a complaint with the board.

Does anyone know under what terms can a doctor refuse to treat someone, or have ever been in this situation?

I'm really sad about this and dont' know what to do. Any advice? Thanks!!

Add a Comment5 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Be very careful with your pregnancy and have your Hormone levels checked monthly. I wasn't regulated during my pregnancy and it ended very badly and I almost lost my life and I did lose my baby. I don't know anything about the doctor situation, but I would hate for anyone to go through what I went through.

July 26, 2009 - 8:47pm
(reply to Anonymous)

I'm so sorry for your loss!! How could this have happened? Was your doctor unaware that you had Hashimoto's? My heart goes out to you.

July 26, 2009 - 9:07pm

I'm so sorry to hear you're feeling this stress and frustration at a time when you should be feeling only elation about your pregnancy.

Unfortunately, we are a litigious society and there are doctors, like the one you cited, who are more concerned about the cost of their malpractice insurance than the care of the patient. I once had a neurologist toss me out of his office because I divulged that I saw a chiropractor on a regular basis and he was so adamantly opposed to it. I had suffered an ice skating injury that left me without feeling in my lower legs and he accused me of faking the injury. Imagine that! He seemed more concerned about the annoyances of having moved into his new offices and being without a regular support staff. Frankly, I probably should have reported him to the medical boards.

Needless to say, I found another neurologist and orthopedic surgeon who took very good care of me and brought me back to health without surgery.

Sometimes, that's all you can do - move on to another doctor. I would like to believe that there are more caring physicians out there than the ones more focused on their general ledgers.

All the best to you.

April 21, 2009 - 5:19pm

I wish I could answer your question, but I know other people are looking into this and will be getting back to you. It is so sad that at a time when you should be so happy you are forced to deal with a situation like this. I personally had a high-risk pregnancy and my doctor took extra care of me to make sure everything went smoothly. I am so sorry you are not getting the same treatment.

April 21, 2009 - 3:44pm

I don't know if there are specific terms that are required for a doctor to refuse to take on a patient, but I have personally dealt with this kind of situation. When I was nearly 9 months pregnant with my fourth baby, I was in a situation where I needed to find a new OB and had a heck of a time finding an OB to take me on at that point in my pregnancy. They all considered me too high risk since they hadn't been there with me throughout my prenatal care. Finally, when I was nearly about to deliver, a friend of a friend took me on as her patient and I was totally grateful. I don't know what would have happened to me or my youngest daughter if she hadn't taken me on and agreed to do my C-section. That was one of the most stressful experiences.

April 21, 2009 - 3:39pm
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