Committee Reports

Amicus Brief: Dray v. Staten Island University Hospital et al. (Appellate Division, Second Department)


The Sex & Law Committee (Katharine Bodde, Chair) and Bioethical Issues Committee (Mary Beth Morrissey, Chair) filed an amicus brief in Dray v. Staten Island University Hospital, a matter on appeal in the Appellate Division (Second Department) (Docket Nos. 2015-12064, 2015-12068).  The case involves a woman who was forced, pursuant to hospital policy, to undergo a surgical (cesarean) delivery against her will.  The Committees argue that New York law and public policy require adequate access to information so that patients can make informed healthcare decisions, and that hospitals have a duty to disclose policies that fundamentally impact the provision of care.  In particular, patient care policies that may implicate patients’ constitutional and statutory rights in the face of recommendations or decisions of the medical institution and/or its staff must be disclosed so that patients can make informed decisions about where to receive medical care.  The hospital’s failure to disclose its “Managing Maternal Refusals” policy violated Ms. Dray’s right to sufficient information to make an informed decision about where to receive health care services and led to medical procedures that were performed on her against her will and in violation of New York law.