Can an obstetrician perform adrug test withouttheir patient’sconsent?

UPDATED: Jul 26, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jul 26, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an obstetrician perform adrug test withouttheir patient’sconsent?

I went to a new OB for a pregnancy confirmation visit at 5 weeks. When giving my urine, I was under the impression it was for a pregnancy test. At no point in the visit was I informed a drug test would be performed. A week later, I got a bill for $500 worth of drug tests. I called and my doctor’s office says this is their standard for everyone to ensure the baby’s health. I dispute this because: A) I was never informed, and B) It is impractical to do this test at a time when 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and I am still within my legal right to abort it. Was this legal?

Asked on July 26, 2011 Maryland


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not your new OB does drug screening tests of all patients as his or her custom and practice is not really the main issue that I see. The issue is whether or not your new treating physician should have informed you orally and in writing as to all intended tests upon your person and the applicable charges for the tests before the testing was done.

From what you have written, it seems that what was done without advising you beforehand was performed as a means of increaisng your medical bill presumably to be charged to your medical insurance carrier.

To establish whether or not this drug screening when done was acceptable with the custom and practice of an OB, you need to consult with other OB's as to their practices during initial pregnancy confirmation and testing to establish health of the unborn child at a certain gestation period of the mother.

I see why you feel that your privacy and trust have been violated.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption