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Ferguson v. City of Charleston

Sometime in 1988 to 1989, the incidence of cocaine use among the maternity patients, a practice that harmed the fetus and was a form of child abuse, was at an alarming rate at the Charleston public hospital operated by the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). The staff members at MUSC volunteered to help the city of Charleston to prosecute women who tested positive for cocaine while pregnant. Thereafter, Charleston Solicitor Charles Codon organized a task force that included representatives of MUSC, the police, the County Substance Abuse Commission, and the Department of Social Services, and which subsequently adopted a document entitled “POLICY M-7” that dealt with the “Management of Drug Abuse During Pregnancy”. The policy included the following provisions:…