Remembering Alabama OB-GYN Dr. Larry Stutts, MD, DVM
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, March 11, 2017
“Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.”
-Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), Rambler #2 (March 24, 1750)
After narrowly winning election in 2014 by 70 votes in Alabama State Senate District 6, Dr. Larry Stutts, MD, DVM, a Republican, immediately wrote a bill (SB289) to repeal Code of Alabama Title 27-48-2, commonly known as “Rose’s Law,” which unanimously passed the House & Senate and become law in 1999.
“Rose’s Law” was written in response to the death of Stutts’ patient, Rose Church, a 36-year-old Registered Nurse, who died of a heart attack 10 days after giving birth to a girl in 1998 at Helen Keller Hospital. A simple $5 test could have saved her life, but Stutts’ refused to order the test, and sent her home early.
“Roses Law” gave women in Alabama a legal right to remain in hospital for 48 hours after a normal live birth, 96 hours if the birth was Cesarean or presented a complication, and required insurers in Alabama to pay for the stay.
Stutts’ bill (SB289) would have repealed “Rose’s Law,” and would have also repealed a State law requiring physicians to notify a woman in writing that her mammogram showed dense tissue that may mask breast cancer.
When it was discovered that Stutts was trying to repeal a law written to protect women from that type of malpractice, a national outcry quickly emerged, and Stutts withdrew his bill in shame.
In response, Gene Church, Rose’s husband, said, “This was a personal vendetta. The irony is that 16 years later no one remembered what happened with my wife, or very few people did. Now, sadly for him, everybody is going to know.”
Stutts will be up for re-election 2018.