Why One Woman Went to Court to Keep Her Placenta

Think the doc will just hand it over? Think again.

Jordan Thiering Fights To Keep Placenta Facebook

Jordan Thiering was 33 weeks pregnant and thought she had planned everything perfectly. The Brandon, Mississippi, resident even had plans for her placenta: She'd encapsulate it after giving birth, grind the capsules up in her smoothies, and drink up—after all, many believe that ingesting your own placenta can ward off postpartum depression and improve your energy levels and milk production. But one serious hiccup was about to change her plans. 

You see, Thiering believed that since she produced her own placenta, she'd have every right to do with it as she pleased. But not everyone saw it that way. When she called her local hospital to alert them of her plans, she was shocked to find out that she'd need a court order. "I’m thinking, ‘What? For my own body part? Why do I need a court order?’” said Thiering.

Thiering's local newspaper, The Clarion-Ledger, obtained a memo from state epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs, which reads: “No hospital or other facility may release non-infectious medical waste (including placental tissue) without there first having been obtained a court order, or other judicial mandate, which will assure proper disposal by the release.”

In addition, Thiering was made aware that, according to the Mississippi Department of Health, she is considered a "third party" to her placenta. She was understandably confused. "If I give birth to my baby and then I give birth to my placenta, do you own my baby, too?" Thiering asked. "Do I have a third party to my own child? Well, of course not. So then why am I the third party to my own body part? It just doesn’t seem to make sense."

Luckily, a local attorney took Thiering's case to heart and helped her bring her case before a judge. The judge granted Thiering the right to her placenta—and while she admits the process was speedy and easy, she worries that other women will find themselves in similar positions and won't have the luxury of time to file the necessary paperwork.

Thiering's whole ordeal begs the question: Do court sanctions on placenta use violate a woman's right to her own body? Share your thoughts below!