Teen dies from taking abortion pill

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Stelliform, Sep 22, 2003.

  1. Stelliform macrumors 68000

    Stelliform

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    #1
    Y'all play nice....

    CNN Link

     
  2. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

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    #2
    I don't want to get into the moral issues of abortion so I'll stick to the saftey issues.

    What I want to know is whether or not she was using contraceptives. Triggering the equivalent of a miscarriage is risky business no matter what way you look at it. This cannot become a replacement for contraceptives, a "day-after pill", because of these very issues. %5-8 percent of cases require operations to halt the bleeding? That number probably won't improve since the pill is in practice emulating a natural process.

    If she was using contreceptives and this was altogether accidental then it is a moral issue. If she simply wanted to have a "day after pill" then it is an irresponsibility issue.
     
  3. Stelliform thread starter macrumors 68000

    Stelliform

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  4. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #4
    precisely the reason that the entire encyclopedia of women's health needs a revising. certainly the possibility of this occuring should have been predicted. the cause of the entire event should have been prevented as well, and it could have been if sexual education was better and more thorough in younger children. Because this policy of denying the existance of teen pregnancy just isn't working.

    obviously this poor girl was afraid to establish a dialogue with her parents, if she's like most teenagers her parents' "talk" consisted of an awkward 15 minutes of ovary diagrams from the kid's health book. she probably had no idea the responsibility that came with being sexually active, and she may well have been misinformed about her options. chances are good, someone just suggested a nice prescription that took her problem away.

    whether or not she should have had an abortion... that's not for me to say.

    pnw
     
  5. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #5
    It is dangerous.

    Like most things everything had risks, abortion is no execption.


    IMO the doctors shouldn't have sent her home, it was not her fault at all, sorry Doctors you made a very grave mistake.

    On every bottle of drugs I have ever taken there are risks, heck I am sick:

    I took (so far):
    Claritin D (I thought it was allergies)
    That didn't work so I took:
    Tylenol PM &
    Pedicare Cold (Because I have a cold)

    That combination could be deadly, heck a person has probably died from thoes exact drugs, its a risk.
     
  6. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #6
    yes common drugs can easily interact, i was once on a hypnotic (sleep aid) and an antihistamine and i nearly went into resperatory failure in my sleep. did the doctor warn me? no. not long after, an antidepressant from the same doctor caused me to experience a grand mal seizure, which is, shall we say, inconvenient when you're out with friends.

    and before all that, when i was 12, my grandmother (a nurse) gave me seldane, a decongestant that was taken off the market (not before it gave me heart damage, thanks)... it was without a prescription true, tho it was approved for children that young.

    i think in the timeline of humanity, we're in a very barberic period when it comes to pharmacuticals. doctors cannot even estimate how many deaths annually are caused by common prescription drugs.

    not to even mention the terrible overuse of antibiotics to treat viral infections and common mild infections in children...

    pnw
     
  7. arn macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

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    #7
    heh....

    I won't get into this too much either...

    but, yes, every medical procedure and every medicine has side effects.

    The press does a distasteful job in portraying these things surrounding senstitive or high profile topics.

    From what I could find, over 100 people die a year in the US from allergic reactions to antibiotics. This includes people who go to the doctor for a sore throat and get an antibiotic for borderline reasons.

    arn
     
  8. MOFS macrumors 65816

    MOFS

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    #8
    abortion vs childbirth

    As a medical student, I must point out that in our lectures on the medical uses of hormones (which covered the Pill), we were told that taking the Pill is less dangerous than childbirth ie the chance of you dying from taking the Pill is lower than that of childbirth...
     
  9. phrancpharmD macrumors regular

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    #9
    This is a tragic loss, but the fact remains that nearly any medication can be dangerous in certain situations, and medications to induce abortion do so by chemically achieving what would normally be achieved surgically - specifically, ejection of fetal tissue. Just as in a surgical D&C (dilation and curettage, the surgical approach to abortion), small pieces of fetal tissue and/or placenta might remain in the uterus prolonging bleeding, cramping, and even signs and symptoms of pregnancy if enough placenta remains to produce a significant amount of pregnancy hormones. Giving the patient painkillers and discharging her home without more aggressive follow-up may seem like an oversight or inattentive care, and while it MIGHT have been, the fact remains that she was only about day 5 post RU-486 and only one or two days post misoprostol (the drug that actually expells the fetal tissue and placenta); the symptoms she was experiencing (bleeding and cramps) are normal following administration of these drugs and might not normally subside for up to two weeks. If these symptoms persist beyond two weeks, further evaluation to rule out retention of fetal tissue would probably be warranted, but not necessarily before. So in reality, she hadn't even been having symptoms for two weeks and most doctors probably wouldn't suspect complications so early (4-5 days) in the process. Medical treatment and pharmacotherapy are complicated endeavors, and while often serious attempts are made to explicitly explain risks and benefits of treatments, several factors contribute to what and how much patients are told. "Enough" information is sometimes deemed inadequate when adverse reactions occur, and lawsuits often ensue; sometimes rightfully, sometimes wrongfully. Like most situations like these events (medication administration resulting in death, even when mortality is a potential outcome) occur, sensationalization by the media is expected. I can assure you though as a licensed, specialty trained and board certified Doctor of Pharmacy that almost without exception these errors happen to well qualified and competent professionals who just happen to get unlucky. It is an unfortunate consequence of being human that medical errors (and please don't forget that not all medical errors are "medication" errors) occur. The affected practitioner is often DEVASTATED by errors producing serious morbidity (illness or injury) or mortality.
     
  10. phrancpharmD macrumors regular

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    #10
    Mr. Macman,
    The combination you mention above could not be deadly unless you exceeded the maximum recommended daily dose of acetaminophen (Tylenol) which is 4 grams per day. You might feel especially "hungover" or "tired" but I assure you you were not at risk of dying from the medications you took in combination.



    paulwhannel,
    Certainly, I do not mean to trivialize any adverse outcome that occurred from taking medications not "FDA Approved" for a child. However, please realize that FDA Approval is a function of clinical data in a particular patient population. Pediatric drug studies generally don't occur, although in the last few years greater effort has been made to recruit children into drug studies to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of drugs in these patients. Likewise, historically speaking, women (of childbearing potential, at least) and minorities have not specifically been evaluated, and so very little specific data regarding medications in these populations exist. Medications are used "off-label" ALL THE TIME as long as clinical data indicates benefit. Clinical studies are EXTREMELY expensive (the REAL reason drug prices are going up; NOT because the drug companies spend excessively on marketing - as % revenue, drug companies spend no more than other large industries like automakers and insurance companies on marketing) and logistically difficult to perform; I assure you that pharmacotherapy is still much more of an art than a science, although thankfully it, like all of medicine is becoming more scientific.
    Great effort has been made to improve the safety of drugs prior to release to the marked. Any commonly used hypnotic these days (a benzodiazepine, such as Valium, Ativan, and Xanax) have a very low potential to interact with other drugs and do not cause respiratory depression. This is a major advantage compared to barbiturates, which were widely used as hypnotics prior to the advent of the benzodiazepines. Also, antihistamines can cause sedation, but have no effect on respiratory function. Also, there is a very improbable chance that the Seldane caused you any heart damage (Q-T interval prolongation?) all by itself; there is, however, a common interaction between Seldane and erythromycin (and other drugs) that when taken in combination can increase the risk for some arrhythmias. From your other posts in other threads I imagine you are at least in your late 20's or early 30's; if so, this interaction was not well characterized when you were young and might have been overlooked. So you see, it is extremely unlikely that your doctor or pharmacist (the one who's legally obligated to tell you about your medications, by the way) would have warned you about either interaction. If you would like to talk more about this or fill me in on the specific meds you took please PM me.

    And finally, there are several mechanisms in place to track medical (including medication) errors, and while you are probably correct in saying that the true extend is not (and probably never will be known) I assure you it is of extreme importance and high priority across the health-care spectrum. And as for inappropriate antibiotic prescribing, great strides are being made to combat this problem. However, administration of antibiotics to livestock as food additives poses a MUCH greater long-term threat to antibiotic efficacy than overprescribing for viral infections. Trust me (if you want more info let me know; I'll be delighted to go into it. . .).

    I hope to not have caused any offense or come off sounding like a "pharmacy troll" but I take my profession extremely seriously. I understand that misconceptions and misinformation regarding medications abound online (I am truly appalled, amazed, and amused at some of the tripe my students dig up) and that it is a complicated subject that is easily misunderstood. Please forgive me if I demeaned your health concernes in any way, but please know that I would be delighted to talk to anyone in the MR community about their medications any time. I'll even waive my consulting fee. . . :)
    Frank
     
  11. Waluigi macrumors 6502

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    Connecticut
    #11
    There is such an overwhelming crisis looming due to overuse of antibiotics, particularly when farmers put obscene amounts of it in their animals food to get them to grow marginally bigger.......this could seriously wipe out the entire human race.

    --Waluigi
     
  12. phrancpharmD macrumors regular

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    #12
    That is EXACTLY the major contributing problem to antibiotic resistance right now. With the incidence of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) greatly rising in the community (i.e., people not in the hospital or nursing homes), vancomycin (a particular type of antibiotic) is becoming more important (MRSA does not respond to any other conventional antibiotics). The problem is that farmers feed their livestock chemicals extremely closely related to vancomycin thus inducing resistance. Actually, VRE, or vancomycin resistant enterococcus is fairly common and is a direct result of farmers feeding livestock vancomycin like compounds and the enterococci become resistant. This is a MUCH greater problem than antibiotic prescribing for viral infections, but you are VERY unlikely to hear the media point the finger at the huge livestock and meat processing industries. . . So in short, buy Coleman beef and Horizon (or other organic) milk! No hormones (let's not even go there), no antibiotics, no pesticides. Good stuff. . .
     
  13. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #13
    That is trully sad news, my thoughts go out to her family and friends.

    I agree with others that there are risks to any medication or procedure. The most important thing is to read the directions.

    We will need to wait for the results of the autopsy, to determine the actual cause of death. From some of the hospital deaths that we have locally, I'm very concerned about the state of medical care. Everyone needs to be more educated about there own health and take a more active role in your own care. We have to be advocates for our own care or that of our children.
     
  14. rueyeet macrumors 65816

    rueyeet

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    #14
    I also doubt that most people actually read the little fine-print brochure that comes with medicines they take. Even something completely harmless has a truly amazing list of potential side-effects, probably because the one person who actually proves susceptible to any one of them would otherwise seize their chance for a quick cash-in via lawsuit.

    I also have to wonder about someone who would take a morning-after pill without realizing that a miscarriage, whether naturally occuring or chemically induced, is GOING to be a probably painful and potentially risky process. And anyone who thinks that just because the abortion comes in pill form means it's going to be a short, easy alternative is missing some very basic facts of human reproductive biology. Everything I've heard about the morning-after pills sounds like you can at least expect to have some really unpleasant cramping and some bleeding. *ouch* I'd much much rather use a condom and some spermicide!
     
  15. MacRumorSkeptic macrumors regular

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    #15
    OH NO!!! Its such a tragedy when a woman cannot safely murder her child.
     
  16. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #16
    My point was not that I was gonna die, but that every day occurances can and sometimes (unfortunately) kill.

    I have no medical credentials, but I know this.

    Prayers go out to the family.


    edit:
    Why Move This To Political Forums we haven't said a word about Politics?
     
  17. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #17
    :eek: Did Arn actually post in the political forum, or did this get moved from somewhere else?

    Everything pharmeceutical is risky. I can't believe some of the side effects stuff that is legal has. I think the one i saw the really stuck with me was some pill whose side effect was listed as "gas with oily discharge" Ewwwww!
     
  18. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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  19. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #20
    Does anyone else but me see the similarity with the press on this issue to the recent press and advertising against marijuana?

    Oh, someone died, therefore, it should be banned and made illegal! Oh, someone died, therefore, it is terribly dangerous!

    Look, if you have a fetus chunk stuck in your uterus, and you start to go into septic shock, you get a fever and you get ill, then you go to the doctor. Did the story say whether she sought medical attention after she started to get sick? Yes, this medication has dangers, but were they compounded by an immature, scared teen ager?
     
  20. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #21
    Precisely.

    One of the big problems with young women getting abortions is the stigma attached to them. Because of the enormous amount of pressure put on young women to NOT get abortions, many women want to hide the fact that they get them, many time even from their partners, parents, etc.

    If this girls would have been in an open relationship with her parents and had been able to talk about the issue, they would have treated the signs of infection much more seriously. As it was, she was attempting to hide everything from them, and going through her boyfriend to try and get the support (including medical) she needed. It didn't work. Many times it doesn't.

    Its like the drunk driving problem with young high schoolers. Parents and schools put so much emphasis on the fact that drinking is wrong, you shouldn't drink, you're in BIG TROUBLE if you drink! When kids actually do go out and drink--yes, it happens--they are afraid to call someone for a safe ride home.

    Same goes for abortions, safe sex, drugs, etc.

    Here is to less fear in our youth and more trust, openness and understanding from all people.

    Taft
     
  21. tazo macrumors 68040

    tazo

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    #22
    What upsets me is the hypocrisy in the media. If a teen aborts her baby's birth, it is called a fetus. The fetus has little or no rights, and is not considered a human baby. Now if a pregnant woman is murdered, which prior to that she was in the same position as the teen, it is called a double murder. Now wait a second! I understand the woman being counted as a murder, but if the fetus has no rights why is it counted as an entire human in the courtroom? How can a fetus have rights, and not have rights? I am confused....It would seem that abortion is ok ''whenever' and murder is not ok 'sometimes'.


    Not only is this hypocritical, it is seemingly indicative of the horrors that people neglect to mention in connection with abortion.
     
  22. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #23
    Under current Federal law (and most state laws) the fetus does not have rights as a human being. There is legislation currently working through congress to change that however (Unborn Victims of Violence Act), and many pro-choicers are spitting mad at the legislation, including myself.

    Violence against a pregnant woman that results in the loss of the child is a terrible thing. I would argue, as would most people, that it is much worse than violence against the average woman. Punishments for these types of offenders should be higher than that of an average offender. The loss of an unborn child is a very hard thing for a woman, especially if the woman was planning on carrying the child to birth.

    But stiffer punishments for these offenders is possible without assigning rights to the unborn fetus. By assigning rights to the fetus and considering the fetus a human, it is a small step to considering abortions murder, even though an abortion is very much different than an act of violence.

    Many states have provisions in their laws which assign harsh penalties to violent offenders who cause the loss of an unborn child. They are able to successfully do this without assigning human rights to the fetus. The only thing that assigning rights to a fetus does is to take one step closer to making abortion illegal. This is why the bill is being lobbied for by most every anti-abortion group out there.

    In answer to your question, I cannot speak for the media at large or why they vacillate from one side to the other depending on the situation, but at the same time, it is entirely possible to believe violence against an unborn fetus to be considered a very serious crime and still support a woman's right to an abortion.

    It has everything to do with the rights and expectations of the mother and nothing to do with the rights of the fetus.

    Taft
     
  23. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #24
    On the same day this unfortunate woman died as a result of using RU-486, worldwide 8,500 people died from HIV-AIDS. The following day, nobody died from using RU-486, but 8,500 more people died from HIV-AIDS. And today as well.

    It's fine to discuss these things, but at the same time, we should try to keep our world in some sort of perspective.
     
  24. pdham macrumors member

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    #25

    And maybe the fetus she was trying to kill would of someday discovered a cure for HIV-AIDS.
     

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