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Darlene Nicholson

Darlene Nicholson

Plaintiff Darlene Nicholson is the only Caucasian plaintiff and the only Petitioner who avoided arrest under the policy. She received her medical care from MUSC because it was the only facility that would accept her Medicaid insurance coverage and would provide treatment for women on methadone maintenance.
Nurse Shirley Brown confronted Ms. Nicholson about her cocaine use after Ms. Nicholson's urine was searched under the guise of treating her for dehydration.
According to Ms. Nicholson's testimony,

"[T]hey said I was dehydrated and I needed to be hooked up to glucose . . . [T]hey told me to drink lots of water . . . I asked them if I was to be hooked up to the glucose machine . . . [T]hey just told me to keep drinking water . . . and told me to use the bathroom in a cup . . . And I asked what for and they said to see if I had enough fluid in my system so they could send me home."

Following this search, Nurse Brown informed Ms. Nicholson that she could either immediately enter inpatient treatment at the hospital or face arrest. Although Ms. Nicholson requested that she be permitted to return home and make arrangements for her son's care before entering treatment, Nurse Brown refused and insisted that she begin treatment at the hospital immediately. Ms. Nicholson remained in inpatient treatment for thirty days, until her insurance expired. After she was released, she stopped seeking prenatal care for a period of time because of her fear of the policy.