Page Hospital in Arizona Threatens Woman with Court-Ordered Cesarean

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Photo credit: Mary Forney, Lake Powell Chronicle

Three cheers to the Lake Powell Chronicle, the small newspaper that covered the story. Joy Szabo of Page, Arizona is being threatened with a court-ordered cesarean if she refuses a cesarean at Page Hospital, part of the Banner Health system.

Szabo, who already delivered vaginally after a previous cesarean at Page Hospital is being told that she must submit to an unnecessary or “elective” cesarean to remain a Banner Health patient through the perinatal period.

Page Hospital Chief Executive Officer Sandy Haryasz feel that VBAC is too risky for her small hospital and Joy’s labor will divert surgical resources away from other patients who need them, as labor could take “hours or days.”

“Page Hospital is, as many small communities are, challenged with resources,” said Chief Executive Officer Sandy Haryasz. “Page simply does not have the physician resources to respond to an emergency. Currently, we have two physicians who are delivering babies and a third physician will be joining us next week.

“Three physicians cannot provide the coverage recommended by ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology). The physicians must be immediately available because of the risks of a VBAC and we cannot provide that in Page. In addition, we cannot provide an anesthesiologist to be readily available because we only have one anesthesiologist.”

As a result, Joy is stuck traveling nearly five hours down to Phoenix, Arizona to a women’s care clinic or staying home and having an unassisted birth.

Joy’s husband, Jeff, told Mary Forney of the Lake Powell Chronicle that he feels his wife’s rights are being violated.

“I have talked with Banner Health officials who have said it’s just their policy,” Jeff said. “It’s a legal decision – not a medical decision. My wife’s plight is indicative of the health-care system in the U.S. They make money off of people’s suffering.

“Consequently, medical care is dictated by cost and insurance companies and not by what’s best for the patient.”

Joy has attended a board of directors meeting and has met twice with Haryasz. [Emphasis mine]

“I asked Sandy what would happen if I just showed up refusing a c-section and she said they would obtain a court order,” Joy said. “They don’t want to allow VBACs because she said they aren’t equipped for emergency c-sections, but if they can’t do emergency c-sections, they shouldn’t be having labor and delivery at all. That’s why women go to the hospital to have their babies – in case there is an emergency. 


Contact information for Banner Health’s Page Hospital:


Page Hospital

501 N. Navajo

P.O. Box 1447

Page, AZ 86040

(928) 645-2424


Peter S. Fine, President and CEO of Banner Health –

Online form to reach Mr. Fine here.


Bill Byron (PR) - Twitter account @BannerBill (hashtag #bannerhealthvbac)


Sandy Haryasz, CEO -


Banner Health’s Facebook Fan Page


…and sometimes through your abdomen whether you like it or not.


Comments about Page Hospital’s unwritten VBAC policy change on The Unnecesarean Facebook Fan Page


Related reading:

Woman Ordered by State to Submit to Hospital Confinement, Cesarean

ACLU Files Amicus Brief in Support of Woman Hospitalized Against Will

Complaint Filed Against Obstetrician, Hospital for Unauthorized Sterilization During Cesarean

New Jersey Cesarean Refusal Case: The “System” is Schizophrenic

New Jersey VM Case - A Victory of Sorts (National Advocates for Pregnant Women)

Does a Laboring Woman Have Any Rights? (Birth Activist)

Refusal of Unnecesarean Leads to Loss of Custody: V’s Story

Superior Court of New Jersey Terminates Cesarean-Refusing Mom’s Parental Rights

When Unborn Rights Trump Maternal Rights

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