Wednesday, 9 November 2011

To Sue Or Not To Sue, That Is The Question

I was having a conversation with friends today about children with disabilities and how often it's the hospital's fault that these babies had complications.
All too many times the staff are to blame for birth related injuries and Bree's case is no different. Although no one in the medical profession will admit that her PVL is a direct result of Bree's traumatic entry into this world we are all too well aware of how the damage occurred.

The question this always poses is why haven't we sued the hospital. We know they are at fault, we know Bree suffers everyday because of their mistakes and we know we have every right to do it.

While it is true that a cesarean could have prevented Bree's injuries I have some issues with the whole concept of suing.

Firstly I hold the firm belief that without the staff on that day we wouldn't have Bree with us today. They saved her life. When the nurse realised that our baby was in distress every effort was made to get her out quickly. When Bree was born and wasn't breathing the NICU team resuscitated her on the spot. Yes, there had been errors with the labour, but there wasn't a single slip up when she was born.

Secondly, I don't believe that one person should get the funds that are meant to benefit everyone. That goes for any business, organisation or individual. If we were to successfully sue the hospital what would that mean for other families in the future? Without funding hospital based programs can't run, wards close down and people are refused care. Doctors start raising their fees to cover higher insurance premiums and the costs for an average family spiral out of control. How would we feel if we were one of those families?

Thirdly, we use that hospital. We use it a lot. On average we have an appointment once a week. It's our regional base and when Bree gets sick our local hospital transfers us there. If we need scans or tests performed they are carried out at that hospital. If we were to sue, it wouldn't exactly be right to continue to use those services, would it?

Lastly, I know the money would help and god knows we could use it to pay for all the extra things we now need as a result of Bree's physical limitations, but it won't change anything. Our daughter still has Cerebral Palsy. It won't disappear because our bank account has increased and no amount of money will change what has already happened.

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