Jameson Hospital in Pennsylvania had some serious explaining to do to a new mother and her newborn child, who was taken by Lawrence County’s Child Protective Services just days after birth. According to the BBC, the mother-to-be chose to eat an “everything” bagel (containing poppy seeds) when she arrived at the hospital in labor. Thanks to an overly sensitive drug test, she and her baby tested positive for opiates.
Three days after giving birth to her daughter, Isabella, Elizabeth Mort suffered a major emotional avalanche when Isabella was stripped from her arms by Child Protective Services.
"Elizabeth Mort never imagined that the last thing she ate before giving birth to her daughter - a poppy seed bagel - would lead to the loss of her newborn, but that is exactly what happened after the Jameson Health System failed to account for the possibility that her positive urine drug screen was due to her ingestion of poppy seeds," Mort’s eventual lawsuit against the hospital read.
According to The Stir, “It's not uncommon for poppy seeds to trigger false positives in drug tests with low thresholds for opiate detection, which is why federal standards set the minimum detection rate at 2,000 nanograms per milliliter. For whatever reason, Mort's hospital had a different detection rate: a minimum of 300 nanograms.”
The new mother quickly won her lawsuit and her child was returned five days after she was taken from her mother. The agency could find no evidence that the mother had ever taken drugs. Mort was awarded $143,500 in damages.
Do you think that this amount is sufficient for what Mort went through? Did you ever think a bagel could cause a false positive on a drug test?