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Substantial award in Michigan medical malpractice claim

We trust doctors and hospitals to use all reasonable care when we seek medical treatment. One of the most important principles in medical ethics is that doctors should 'do no harm.' When a surgeon makes an error during surgery or commits a lapse in judgment when treating a patient, it may result in catastrophic or even fatal injuries.

Yesterday, a Michigan jury determined that mistakes at a hospital caused a severe birth injury in a medical malpractice case. The infant, who is now a 15-year-old girl, suffered brain damage and a broken clavicle during her birth. She is now quadriplegic and requires full time nursing care.

The family of the girl alleged that the hospital failed to account for the girl's large size prior to birth when deciding to induce a vaginal delivery rather than opting for a caesarean section. The mother suffered from gestational diabetes during the pregnancy which is thought to have caused the fetus to be larger than normal.

A court appointed conservator will oversee the damages awarded in the case. They are intended to provide for the young woman's round the clock care for her lifetime and compensate her for the lost wages she would have received had it not been for the hospital's alleged negligence.

No amount of money can make up for the life altering effects of a doctor's negligence during the birthing process. But the staggering costs of full time nursing care along with extra hospital procedures and rehabilitative therapy is more than most families can bear on their own. When a doctor commits medical malpractice they should be held accountable.

Source: Detroit Free Press "Paralyzed teen's family wins medical malpractice suit," MEGHA SATYANARAYANA, Oct. 19, 2011

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