A Bandon, Oregon midwife is facing criminal charges following the death of a baby girl born under her care in 2011. A statement of the child’s mother said the midwife actively discouraged her from seeking medical care. The newborn passed away from septic shock after being born. The midwife reached a plea deal and plead guilty to reckless endangerment. In addition to her criminal sentence, she will also be required to be licensed before attending to any future births. It is unknown whether the baby girl’s family will be pursuing a civil claim for relief.
As heartbreaking as these mistakes can be, birth injuries can happen while under the care of a midwife or at the most state-of-the-art hospital. Birth injuries are a surprisingly common occurrence. It has been estimated that five out of every 1,000 babies born in the United States will suffer injury during birth.
Birth injuries happen when a mistake is made during child delivery. Most cases that give rise to a lawsuit involve medical staff that fails to adequately assess or respond to issues that arise during the birth process. Lawsuits filed in response to birth injuries or fatalities are generally based on medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is a type of negligence committed by health care professionals such as a doctor, nurse or technician. It compares a medical provider’s conduct to that of professionals with similar experience and training.
Lawsuits based on medical malpractice may be settled or go to trial. There are a variety of damages that may be recoverable in a medical malpractice claim. Victims should be aware that there are time limits on filing a claim, so speaking to an experienced malpractice attorney is essential in protecting a victim’s legal rights.
Source: KCBY News, “Midwife charged with manslaughter takes plea deal, avoids jail,” Sky Muller, May 17, 2013