Pregnancy and Addiction

You are a nurse working at a county hospital, and in recent years you have noticed a surge in babies born with drug addictions, especially crack cocaine addiction. Your hospital is considering taking legal action against women who deliver babies born with drug or alcohol addiction, as well as the host of neurological and physical disorders that most addicted babies have. Answer the following questions:

a. Should a pregnant woman who smokes crack cocaine hours before giving birth be charged with delivery of narcotics to a newborn baby via the umbilical co rd?

b. Does the fact that the drug was taken five hours before birth constitute delivery if the mother could not predict the time of birth precisely enough to know that the drug would be delivered to the child?

c. What other drug charges and child abuse charges could be used in such instances? What about any other charges?

d. To what authorities could you report these crimes?


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