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Epidural denied to woman on welfare

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 04 July 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:12
  1. Norra Macready
  1. Irvine, California

    A pregnant woman on welfare who was denied an epidural anaesthetic because she could not pay for it in cash, has triggered a debate in the United States over reimbursement, managed care, and the rights of patients on welfare.

    Ozzie Chavez arrived at Northridge Hospital in Northridge, California, in labour and ready for the epidural that her obstetrician had ordered. The nurse, however, asked for $400 (£250) up front. Ms Chavez offered a cheque and a credit card, both of which were …

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