| October 13, 2007
And you wonder why the field of obstetrics is dying.
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The field of obstetrics is dying because OBs commit malpractice?
Should they not have had to pay for the child’s care if they committed malpractice? Who would pay for it if their insurers didn’t?
Jackpot for the lawyer.
I wonder if the lawyer channeled the baby.
Forget about the money. What the plaintiffs wanted was “answers” and “closure.”
The lawyers would have been satisfied with the money, though.
“…..Bejarano and his wife, Maria, said the money allows them to continue to care for Jose at home. Jose uses a wheelchair, eats through a feeding tube and cannot care for himself……..”
Should they be expected to pay for the child’s care if they committed malpractice?
Yes, though I doubt there was malpractice. Cerebral palsy cases are usually awarded by bamboozled juries to grieving families who “want answers” when the doctors themselves don’t have answers. Junk science, just like the vaccines.
But hey, even if there was malpractice, the doctors and the hospital should be expected to pay for CARE OF THE CHILD.
That’s ECONOMIC damages.
There’s a heck of a lot of noneconomic damage in that 20-plus-million-dollar judgement. And one heck of a big jackpot to the lawyer.
The dollar amount is just super excessive, that’s obvious without knowing any of the facts. So sure, who wants to practice OB knowing that those type judgements can happen? You can’t be insured for that magnitude. The Edwards reference seems appropriate to me.
PS, EYE MD
Anonymous 1:43….the jury found that the doctors committed malpractice. But neither you nor I have seen the evidence to determine if the jury made the correct decision.
Studies show that 95% of CP is not caused by birth trauma. So just at the start those doc are unlikely to have caused the CP. Now that confidence will change as we get more data. But we don’t have it.
So I side with the docs. They probably didn’t cause the CP (It occurs in 1 in 3000 births, a number that has not changed in 40 years) They probably lost because a 10 yr old boy with profound disabilities swayed the jury into thinking that he needs the money. Might as well get it from the “rich” docs.
“The field of obstetrics is dying because OBs commit malpractice?”
Let’s look at the science Ok.
1: The US has a much higher (and earlier) C-section rate than Europe. No difference in CP rates.
2: The vast majority of CP cases are not thought to be related to delivery. A small subset MAY be related to delivery but there is no way to determine which is which, and the evidence is still being evaluated.
If you want to have some type of program that aids in medical expenses for CP kids, fine (akin to the vaccine program). However, gutting an OB whenever a CP baby is born is certainly not the answer given the evidence (or rather lack of evidence) science has so far. But once again is appears that law has nothing to do with scientific evidence supporting or going against a verdict.
PS: Thanks for reminding once again why I chose against OB back in med school even though I loved the rotation.
Well this atrocity of injustice should make the rate of unnecessary Massachusetts c-sections at around 50% in the near future. An $8 million to $10 million jackpot payout to the lawyers. They can now retire and buy their yachts.
As The Godfather said: “One of my lawyers with a briefcase can steal more that a hundred of my best men with guns.”
Ed Sodaro MD
“Yes, though I doubt there was malpractice. Cerebral palsy cases are usually awarded by bamboozled juries to grieving families who “want answers” when the doctors themselves don’t have answers.”
Of course, you think this because you’ve seen the evidence? Oh no, wait, you just read a 3 paragraph newspaper article.
“But hey, even if there was malpractice, the doctors and the hospital should be expected to pay for CARE OF THE CHILD. “
And the child’s quality of life had the physicians done their jobs properly? That’s worth nothing?
“But once again is appears that law has nothing to do with scientific evidence supporting or going against a verdict.”
Really? Were the medical records that show there was no malpractice somewhere in that article and I missed them? Bill Frist, is that you?
How do you guys know a C-section wasn’t done? It must be nice to be a doctor and be able to reach conclusions without facts.
“The dollar amount is just super excessive, that’s obvious without knowing any of the facts.”
Really? What do you think the expenses to raise that child will be? Is that kind of long term care not in the multimillions?
What number would you put to his lost quality of life?
to anon 11:575 mil at 6% interest generates 300K per year forever. That is more than enough to take care of him. I am not saying I would trade positions, just that additional $ are either punitive, or based in lottery mentality, and I object to that.
PS EYE MD
It’s like HAppyman says, this country would rather sue doctors than have doctors.
Good to see that anonymous 11:52 -11:57 is approaching the issue with an open mind, as opposed to blindly defending the legal profession. Talk about empathy, and an ability to analyze a complex situation… I stand in awe of his common-sense approach to the judicial system, and his grasp of the medical profession. Not to mention his ability to see both sides of the story.
One might well ask what price an obstetrician should charge, if he/she can gurantee that they can produce a non-CP baby. Say, $26.5 million/3000? My rough calculations say an $8,800 surcharge per birth is about right. There’s your legal cost. But then people say healthcare is unaffordable, don’t they? But such are the costs of skill. So pay up, we’ve got to cover our training, or the lawyers.
Bad things happen. They happen without anyone being at fault. Cerebral palsy is one of them. OBs are bailing on patients because they are being held accountable for bad things that happened, through no fault of their own. And that’s considered fair, in today’s legal environment. The intelligent decisioin is to abandon the field to midwives. Let them take the beating.
What, our patients need us? For what, to make us the goat for acts of God? “Oh, but there are problems that midwives can’t handle…” Right, they’re high-risk, and I’m not going to be the sucker that takes the risk. If it’s risky for you, it’s too risky for me. Go have an abortion. I can’t be held liable for that, can I? “But I really want to have children…” Not on my watch, I can’t afford it.
And this is what obstetrics is reduced to. Bitter? Not without cause.
“5 mil at 6% interest generates 300K per year forever. That is more than enough to take care of him. I am not saying I would trade positions, just that additional $ are either punitive, or based in lottery mentality, and I object to that.”
Or they are a valuation of the quality of life the child lost.
What is the “lottery mentality”? Is the kid getting something for nothing? Minimal losses and a huge reward – isn’t that what a lottery is?
How do you object to a number when you know none of the underlying facts?
“They happen without anyone being at fault. Cerebral palsy is one of them.”
No, it’s not. Not always. CP can certainly be caused by malpractice.
Anon 12:06, with your incredible grasp of the facts in this particular case, and your clear open-mindedness, what should have been the result?
“Really? Were the medical records that show there was no malpractice somewhere in that article and I missed them? Bill Frist, is that you”
You can try to insult me by calling me Sen. Frist, but in reality it is little more than a ad hominum attack. I hope you don’t try that in the courtroom. Again. LOOK AT THE SCIENCE. Don’t believe me, anybody on this site, and certainly none of your personal injury pals. Go to Pub Med and review the research that has been done in the field. There is no association between CP and birth injury in the vast majority of CP baby’s. In a small minority there MAy be an association. however, there is no “test” that shows an association between a given case of CP and a perinatal injury. That’s the fact. I am sorry you have no intererest in science or the scientific method…but you are a lawyer, why am I not surprised.
” LOOK AT THE SCIENCE.”
What science would one look at to determine malpractice or the lack thereof when one hasn’t seen literally any of the evidence from the case, Dr. Frist?
Is reaching a conclusion without any facts part of the scientific method?
Anon 2:20, some things do not change. One of those things is your opinion, at least not by my influence. Still, since you didn’t get it the first time around, let’s re-iterate. Bad things happen, without it being anyone’s fault. Call it an act of God, and let insurance deal with it, the way they’d deal with a lightning strike.
For those others who still (ha.) have an open mind, lets begin with the fact that rates of CP in the population have not changed in the past 40 years. To some open-minded people, this would suggest the possibility that further intervention has been futile. To explain it in little words, we can’t stop it happening, even with best practices and andvances in technique and technology. This is medicine, not miracle making. You want a cure for something we can’t cure. It isn’t there. It has never been there. You can sue us into non-existence, and CP will still be there.
You cannot demonstrate why CP happened, other than to say that it may be caused by birth trauma in 5-10% of the cases. Still, without knowing conclusively whether birth trauma occurred, you sue. For every CP case, it’s a 1 in 10 or 1 in 20 chance that birth trauma could, maybe, have had something to do with it. The lawyer is betting that the jury will see it his way. If he tries often enough, or is manipulative enough, or gets the right jury, he wins, and the doctor loses, regardless of malpractice.
So what’s the doctor to do? To avoid birth trauma, he/she’s going to make all his/her patients have c-sections? Let’s try to look objectively at this. C-sections are at an all-time high, and CP rates haven’t changed. Ergo, C-sections are ineffective. Yet you’ll crucify us for not performing them. What a sick, tragic waste. And even sicker, you don’t even understand what you do. Ignorance really is bliss.
“You cannot demonstrate why CP happened, other than to say that it may be caused by birth trauma in 5-10% of the cases. Still, without knowing conclusively whether birth trauma occurred, you sue.”
Are you arguing that it is impossible to tell whether birth trauma occurred? You must be joking.
“C-sections are at an all-time high, and CP rates haven’t changed. Ergo, C-sections are ineffective. Yet you’ll crucify us for not performing them. “
You are chock full of assumptions, aren’t you? You have no idea what acts or omissions constituted malpractice in this case. None.
I hope you don’t practice medicine with as little information as you practice law. If ignorance is bliss, you’re the happiest person on the planet.
CJD:You know nothing behind the science behind the above statements. In fact you don’t even appear have to have the ability to look it up. Do you even know how to do research on your own instead of quoting ATLA mantra. You spew your nonsense about this issue, breat implants, vaccine debate, you name it without even having a rudimentary understanding behind the science and the research involved. With your complete lack of understanding with science you would have made a great judge during the spanish inquistion.
PS: Yet again I will say LOOK UP THE RESEARCH ON PUB MED.
He wasn’t saying anything about the specifics of this case. He was saying that the rate of C sections is way up, but the rate of CP is the same. This would lead us to believe that C sections do not have any affect on CP.
This assumption can be applied to all CP cases though where they claim that a C section was not done soon enough… I don’t think his logic is that hard to follow?
“PS: Yet again I will say LOOK UP THE RESEARCH ON PUB MED.”
I’ve read the ACOG study, and agree with it. What’s your point? It doesn’t say that CP is never caused by malpractice.
Given that you haven’t reviewed the evidence, how can you say this case was wrongly decided? How is it possible that you are obviously right, and the physician who testified for the plaintiff obviously wrong?
“He was saying that the rate of C sections is way up, but the rate of CP is the same. This would lead us to believe that C sections do not have any affect on CP.”
If one were to assume that C-sections were only done in certain types of cases, we might be able to reach that conclusion. However, C-sections are done for a variety of reasons, including physician and patient convenience, so simply saying there are additional C-sections tells us little.
His logic is not hard to follow, it’s just poor logic.
“A small number of children have cerebral palsy as the result of brain damage in the first few months or years of life, brain infections such as bacterial meningitis or viral encephalitis, or head injury from a motor vehicle accident, a fall, or child abuse.”
“Nevertheless, the birthing process can be traumatic for the infant, and injuries occurring during birth do sometimes cause cerebral palsy. Modern prenatal care and improved obstetric care have significantly reduced the incidence of birth injury, but it is unlikely that it will ever be completely eliminated.”
Are you guys arguing that there is literally no way that a physician’s actions or omissions during the birth of a cihld can cause brain damage resulting in CP?
“Are you guys arguing that there is literally no way that a physician’s actions or omissions during the birth of a cihld can cause brain damage resulting in CP?”
No, just that there is no way to distinguish such a case from one where no negligence occurred. They are indistinguishable to any objective observer.
Really? According to. . . you? And who are you exactly?
How exactly were the experts for the plaintiff and defense able to come to their conclusions then?
“Really? According to. . . you? And who are you exactly?”
Spoken by somebody with no balls of their own an anon CJD lol lol.
“How exactly were the experts for the plaintiff and defense able to come to their conclusions then?”
The plantiiff’s conclusions aren’t based on the evidence in the literature. Please do feel free to review it anytime. The breast implant cases were not based on objective data either. Goes to show you there are whore’s in any profession. They will spin their tune based on what you pay them, evidence be damned.
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