Hospital criticized for how it defended wrongful death case

One medical negligence case that has recently received a lot of public attention involves a woman and her unborn twin babies who all died after the pregnant woman suffered a pulmonary embolism in 2006.

Although nothing may have been done to prevent the woman’s death, doctors may have been able to save the woman’s babies had they acted quickly enough to perform an emergency Cesarean section, the lawsuit argues.

Premature babies have survived numerous odds in so many other situations when they have had to be delivered via emergency C-section, but the woman’s babies were never given the chance to fight for their lives because doctors did not even perform a C-section after the pregnant mother died. The woman’s husband has been pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit ever since his wife and twin babies died. His lawsuit argues that the Catholic hospital where the woman died should have at least made an attempt to save the babies’ lives.

The lawsuit recently received widespread attention in the U.S. because the husband and father of the victims is petitioning that the Colorado Supreme Court hear his case. A jury initially ruled that the hospital was not responsible for the death of the fetuses because the Catholic hospital argued that the fetuses, under Colorado laws, did not have legal status since they had never been born. However, this defense has drawn much criticism since Catholic teachings state that life begins at conception. Many people have been surprised that the Catholic hospital would use a defense that goes against Catholic teachings.

According to reports, the hospital has now stated that if the case is heard before the state Supreme Court, it will focus on using a defense that is in sync with Catholic teachings. Although the hospital may have gone against Catholic teachings when fighting the wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of the twins, attorneys have pointed out that the hospital did use a defense that was legally correct in Colorado.

Source: Reuters, “Catholic hospital group apologizes for fetus lawsuit defense,” Keith Coffman, Feb. 4, 2013

  • Our firm provides counsel to families who have lost loved ones as a result of medical malpractice in Joliet and throughout Will County. Wrongful death claims are often complex, but with the help of an attorney, families may be able to get some justice after losing a loved one. To learn more about our firm and practice, please visit our Will County medical malpractice lawyerpage.

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