A newborn baby is dead from an overdose of morphine and that morphine was delivered to the baby through breast feeding. The mother of the baby, a 39-year-old former nurse, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Friday for giving her baby an overdose of morphine transmitted through breast feeding, according to MSN News on April 4.
Stephanie Greene was in chronic pain from a car accident and was receiving pain killers from her primary care. She hid the pregnancy from the doctor, who continued prescribing the medication for Greene. She learned how to play the system from her years of working as a nurse, conveys the prosecutor.
She sent her husband into her doctor’s office to pick up her pain medication and she would cancel any of the appointments that she had with the primary care doctor. She went to an obstetrician while she was pregnant, but hid the fact that she was taking this heavy duty pain medication from that doctor.
A pathologist testified in court that the autopsy revealed enough morphine in the 46-day-old baby to kill an adult. Green’s daughter was born healthy. The baby was found dead in her parent’s bed.
Because there were no needle marks found on the baby, the authorities “decided” that the morphine was transferred through breast feeding to the baby. This is the first time a mother has been prosecuted in the U.S. for killing their baby with a substance transmitted through breast milk.
Being a nurse, Greene should know the risks of the drug in the breast milk. It is surprising that she didn’t give the baby formula so she could continue to take the drugs that her lawyer argued she needed for the chronic pain she was in.
She has spent the last decade in chronic pain and on the pain killers to control it. Her pregnancy in 2010 was unexpected and she was able to continue using the drugs with the scheme she set up to avoid her primary care, as mentioned above.
Greene’s lawyer said that society portrays people medicated for pain as drug addicts and horrible people, but Greene’s pain is so debilitating that she needs the medicine to function on a daily basis. Greene will appeal her case. She won’t be eligible for parole for 16 years.