A first-time mother who says she failed a drug test while in labor because she ate poppy seeds has sued a Pittsburgh hospital, saying officials defamed her and violated her doctor-patient confidentiality by sharing the results with a child welfare agency. Rachael Devore, 31, who gave birth at Magee-Women's Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center on June 24, contends in her lawsuit that the hospital staff tested her urine while she was in labor and then turned over the "positive" drug test to county caseworkers. That led to weeks of random visits to her home.
Opiates like heroin are made from poppies, which is why the seeds can result in false positives on drug tests. But Devore said she didn't realize what prompted the failed drug test until weeks later—when she bought the same kind of bread she had eaten the day before she went into labor and saw poppy seeds when she sliced into it. "I just delivered and it's supposed to be this beautiful, wonderful, happy time and I'm being accused of something that's completely ridiculous," she says. "To be accused of physically and purposely harming your child is a very tough accusation to swallow."