Submission Form

  • Instructions:

    1. Please customize the form with your own language and reason for writing.
    2. Click “Preview Email.”
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    4. Copy and paste the text of your email into a new email to:

    a) David Battinelli, MD. Chief Medical Officer, Northwell Health:

    b) Jennifer Mieres, MD. Senior Vice President, Center for Equity of Care, Northwell Health/Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Northwell Health:

    Dear Northwell Health,

  • Northwell Health’s Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH)’s policy has allowed medical personnel to override pregnant patients’ wishes and perform unconsented medical procedures “in the interest of the fetus.” Forced interventions on patients violates New York State law, numerous rights protected by the U.S. Constitution, and international human rights principles. There is no exception to this principle for people who are pregnant.

    In 2011, Rinat Dray carefully chose SIUH because her doctors and the hospital led her to believe that they would respect her medical decisions and support her desire to have a vaginal birth after cesareans (VBAC). Instead, Ms. Dray was forced to undergo cesarean surgery against her will and without a court order.

    In her medical record, her doctor wrote,“I have decided to override her refusal to have a C-section.” In addition to forcing her to undergo major surgery requiring a long recovery, her doctors also lacerated her bladder. Ms. Dray still suffers from the consequences of the surgery and the trauma of experiencing obstetric violence.

    In response to Ms. Dray's lawsuit and other efforts to receive justice, the hospital’s representatives have vigorously defended its policies that violate medical ethics and contradict the opinions of leading medical organizations including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

  • I’m calling on Northwell Health to take concrete action to protect the rights of all its patients and ensure that no one else experiences the trauma of forced medical intervention or surgery.

    I demand that Northwell Health:

    1. Eliminate the policies that authorize forced or coerced medical interventions on patients during pregnancy and childbirth in its 21 hospitals and medical facilities.
    2. Make all of its policies managing pregnant patients easily accessible on its website.
    3. Acknowledge the harms done to Rinat Dray and bring her case to resolution.
    4. Ensure that all Northwell doctors and hospital personnel are trained in their ethical duties to honor the decisions of pregnant patients at all stages of pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and to uphold patient rights including the right to refuse medical interventions.
    5. Establish policies to affirm that women, including pregnant women at all stages of pregnancy, are fully and equally protected in Northwell facilities by the U.S. Constitution, international human rights principles, the New York State Patients’ Bill of Rights, and all established common law principles regarding patient consent, privacy and confidentiality.
  • Sincerely,

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