(Closed) What would you do if a bartender refused to serve you?

posted 7 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 182
Member
3696 posts
Sugar bee

Wow, people … if we can’t trust a pregnant woman to make the call on whether a quarter of beer or a glass of wine is okay, how can we possibly trust her with the herculean task of raising the baby to become a healthy, functioning member of society?

Oh, yeah, I remember now … because once the child is born, it’s entirely her problem. But while she’s gestating it, we get to interfere as much as we want!

You don’t have to like it. You can think as many critical thoughts about her choices as you like. But you don’t get to infringe on her autonomy and make decisions for her.

ETA: And by “you” in the preceding paragraph, I mean “the hypothetical bartender.”

Post # 183
Member
6354 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
@cmbr:  In your opinion, what has caused so many countries to clearly state in their national policy that pregnant women should abstain from alcohol? What do you make of the following statements?

“Maternal alcohol consumption can harm the developing fetus or breastfeeding baby.

For women who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, not drinking is the safest option.

For breastfeeding women, not drinking is the safest option. Women should avoid drinking in the first month after delivery until breastfeeding is well established. After that: alcohol intake should be limited to no more than two standard drinks a day; women should avoid drinking immediately before breastfeeding; women who wish to drink alcohol should consider expressing milk in advance.” (Australia)

“If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or about to breastfeed, the safest choice is to drink no alcohol at all.”

“There is no safe amount or safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy.”   (Canada)

Stopping drinking during pregnancy is the safest advice. Baby’s vital organs, e.g., heart, brain, and skeleton are formed between 10–50 days after conception. Often, this is before you know you are pregnant. Cutting down or stopping alcohol while trying to become pregnant protects your baby…. There is no known safe level of alcohol use in pregnancy, and stopping completely is advised.” (Ireland)

“Are you pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to become pregnant? The most safe choice for you and your baby is not to drink alcohol. This is why:

  • Drinking alcohol may reduce fertility (including among men) and raise the chance of a miscarriage;

  • Even an occasional glass of alcohol during pregnancy may be detrimental, since alcohol is a toxic substance and even in small quantities can cause damage to the developing brain;

  • Alcohol consumption by the mother may damage the child’s development during stages of pregnancy…” (Netherlands)

Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should avoid drinking alcohol. (The message from health practitioners to abstain from alcohol during the entire pregnancy is unequivocal and should be promoted by all health practitioners.)

Continue avoiding alcohol when breastfeeding, especially during first month (if it is not possible for the woman to abstain from alcohol, they should be advised to limit themselves to 1 to 2 standard drinks occasionally… Mothers who do choose to drink moderately… during breastfeeding, but with to avoid exposing the baby to alcohol [should] wait until maternal blood alcohol level drops, allowing two to three hours to pass after drinking alcohol.)” (New Zealand)

http://www.icap.org/Table/InternationalGuidelinesOnDrinkingAndPregnancy

…and, more to the topic at hand, is it really that hard to see why a bartender might have the viewpoint that he or she has the moral right to decide not to be complicit in knowingly exposing a fetus to alcohol?

Post # 185
Member
3696 posts
Sugar bee

View original reply
@joya_aspera:  Two things immediately spring to mind: liability and oversimplification.

No agency or organization (especially in the lawsuit-happy US) is going to risk publishing a guideline or recommendation if they can see any potential for leaving themselves open to litigation. Since we don’t have any firmly-established, black-and-white cutoffs for safe levels of alcohol, any organization that issues guidelines or recommendations is going to default to zero as a Cover-Your-Ass strategy.

Also, the history of public health clearly demonstrates what a terrible time we have communicating and interpreting nuanced information. We see it all the time with nutrition. The ingredient-of-the-moment gets demonized (fat, let’s say), and so people go crazy to avoid fat, sales of low-fat products surge, people don’t pay attention to the fact that those products are loaded up with extra sugar and additives to compensate for the missing fat, and health outcomes worsen rather than improve, because people suck at following guidelines about balance and nuance. So, in an effort to prevent people going too far in the wrong direction, agencies again default to oversimplified, overly conservative, black-and-white directives. There’s no gray area for interpretation if they say “no amount of alcohol has been shown to be safe …” But the reality is that we don’t live in a black-and-white world, it’s full of shades of gray. And it’s up to the pregnant woman, in consultation with her care provider, to make those calls on her own behavior. It’s not the bartender’s job to decide for her.

Post # 186
Member
6354 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
@iarebridezilla: It makes no sense that alcohol would be more toxic to the fetuses of “lowest common denominator” mothers vs. anyone else. The guidelines I posted above clearly are against any take on the concept of “alcohol in moderation during pregnancy.”

“The message from health practitioners to abstain from alcohol during the entire pregnancy is unequivocal”

“Even an occasional glass of alcohol during pregnancy may be detrimental”

“There is no known safe level of alcohol use in pregnancy, and stopping completely is advised.”

Post # 187
Member
6354 posts
Bee Keeper

double post, see below

Post # 189
Member
6354 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
@KCKnd2:  Let’s assume that is true (I actually think the government tends to be much too overly lenient in efforts to regulate toxic substances, due regulatory capture by commerce, which tends to be much more powerful than the citizen. So when the government finally gets around to saying something is probably bad for you, you can be fairly assured it’s pretty damn horrible for you.) But in any case, let’s go with your assumption:

To protect itself from legal responsibility for potential harm, the government takes a cautious approach and advises no alcohol exposure to the fetus whatsoever.

Is there not a parallel to a bartender protecting him or herself from moral responsibility for potential harm by refusing to assist with it? Is it not reasonable for the bartender to say, at minimum, “scientific consensus that this is harmless has not been reached. Governments around the world advise against it very clearly. In good conscience, I will not be a party to it.”

Post # 190
Member
9800 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

As long as the woman wasn’t trying to have multiple drinks I would serve her.  It’s not my choice what others do with their bodies and I highly doubt 4oz of beer or wine once a week or once a month will do any harm to the baby.  Obviously no one would be serving multiple drinks or shots to a pregnant woman.

I don’t know if I would drink or not.  I suppose in the last trimester I would be ok with having a 1/2 glass of wine once and a while.  But I think it depends on the individual and their pregnancy.  Not my place to dictate what others do in this instance.

Post # 192
Member
3003 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

View original reply
@Sunshine09:  Look, I’m not wanting to get into a huge debate, but here is one study (and there are more) that contradicts what you said. And iarebridezilla was talking about ONE drink, one time. European women are told to drink less, not quit drinking altogether, and have a much more relaxed view about alcohol during pregnancy. It is cetainly up to the individual how much they feel comfortable drinking, and I am not saying you SHOULD drink during pregnancy, just that if a woman has read up on the subject and is making an educated decision, it’s no one’s business but her own. 

http://www.bjog.org/details/news/2085661/Danish_studies_suggest_low_and_moderate_drinking_in_early_pregnancy_has_no_adver.html

Post # 193
Member
3696 posts
Sugar bee

View original reply
@joya_aspera:  I actually agree with you about many of the toxic substances in our environment being under-regulated due to insufficient government oversight, undue influence by industry, etc. – for example, BPA, which you mentioned earlier. Yes, it was removed from baby bottles a couple of years back – but it’s still in the lining of cans of baby formula, which basically negates the effect of removing it from the bottles; plus, it’s in most of the carbonless cash register reciepts we handle every day, AND its sister compound BPS (which is also an endocrine disruptor and has an even higher rate of transdermal absorption) is in the printed ultrasound pictures that doctor’s offices routinely give to pregnant women!

However, setting that aside and looking at your second point about the bartender’s right to protect him/herself from moral responsibility: that has to be balanced against his/her responsibility to do his/her job, and his/her responsibility to respect the autonomy of others. If the bartender isn’t comfortable serving a 4oz. tasting glass of beer or a single glass of wine to a pregnant woman who is visibly sober, s/he needs to ask a colleague to take over serving it instead, but is not within his/her rights to impose a prohibition on the woman.

Post # 195
Member
203 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
@cmbr:  I can’t believe I seriously entertained that request, but here it is and there are more…  Do what you want.  I stand by my statement that it is an unnecessary risk.

 

 

http://www.cog.brown.edu/courses/cg63/ModerateDrinkingDuringPregnancy.html

Nonetheless, the evidence linking alcohol to spontaneous abortion and intrauterine growth retardation, as well as the possibility raised here that for some malformations no safe drinking level exists, dictates caution. The current recommendation of no drinking during pregnancy is certainly the safest.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01664.x/abstract

Women should continue to be advised to abstain from alcohol consumption from conception throughout pregnancy.

 
 Even low amounts of alcohol consumption during early pregnancy increased the risk of spontaneous abortion substantially


A recent experimental study in sheep, mimicking conditions ofmoderate drinking in the third trimester of pregnancy, provides powerful evidence that there are serious lifelong risks to fetal exposure to alcohol. These should serve as an alarm call to those who legitimize mild-moderate maternal drinking based on incomplete data.


Day and colleagues’ findings of adverse effects at low levels of exposure provides clear evidence that there is no safe level of drinking during pregnancy and that, even at low levels, drinking results in irreversible behavioral impairment.

Post # 196
Member
6354 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
@KCKnd2:  Legally, it’s not for a bartender or bar owner to try to impose sobriety on another person – nor should it be. But they should have the right refuse service. And if it is the bar owner, or there is only one bartender, or all bartenders are in agreement, that may mean a certain person (who appears to be underage, visibly drunk, or visibly pregnant), may not be able to order alcohol at that location, and I don’t see a problem with that.

The topic ‘What would you do if a bartender refused to serve you?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors