If you were not advised about the risks of a vaginal birth even though you were at risk of suffering complications, the level of medical care will be considered unacceptable. If you went on to experience injuries which could have been avoided, had you advised properly, you could be entitled to pursue a medical negligence compensation claim.
For more information on claiming compensation for medical negligence, please get in touch with us at Glynns Solicitors. We are experts in this area of law and will be able to help you further.
A patient must give consent for any type of medical intervention. Sometimes it may be given verbally – for example, agreeing to have a vaccination. Other times consent must be given in writing – for example, before an operation.
The consent is only valid if the decision is made voluntarily by a patient and the decision is informed, meaning they are in possession of all the facts. Therefore when choosing a mode of delivery, a patient must be told if they are at increased risk of complications.
An example of this is a patient who is expecting a baby but who also has diabetes (type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes). Women with diabetes are more likely to have a large baby (macrosomia), shoulder dystocia, anemergency C-section and a still birth.
Therefore before deciding whether to proceed with a vaginal birth, or whether to have a Caesarean section, a patient must be fully advised of all the potential risks involved. Only then will her decision be fully informed and her consent valid.
Failure to inform about the risks
If a patient is not told of all the risks, she has not given her consent. If she goes on to suffer complications – for instance, shoulder dystocia associated with a perineal tear or brain damage – questions must be raised about the care provided.
This happened 16 years ago when a woman with diabetes gave birth to a boy by way of vaginal delivery. She was not told of the risks and experienced shoulder dystocia, causing her baby to suffer brain damage. She argues that had she been told about this possible complication, she would have had an elective C-section and would have given birth safely.
The Supreme Court has recently ordered that she be awarded £5.2 million compensation.
Have you had a similar experience?
If you were not given proper advice by clinicians before giving birth and you subsequently faced complications, please get in touch with us to talk to a solicitor about your options.