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Forced C-section leads to medical malpractice lawsuit

When a woman gets pregnant, she might start to form a birth plan. For women who have had a Cesarean section with one or more previous births, the question about a vaginal birth after C-section might come up. If the woman feels a VBAC is in her best interests, she might actively seek out a doctor who will allow her to attempt one. A recent lawsuit regarding a hospital's refusal to allow a woman to have a VBAC might interest pregnant women in the Washington, District of Columbia, area.

One woman thought she found a practice supportive of her choice to have a VBAC, but she discovered at the hospital that she wouldn't be allowed to have the VBAC she desired. She has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the practice group and two doctors who she claims forced her to have a C-section that she didn't want.

Allegedly, when the woman went into labor and checked into the hospital, staff members started to pressure her to have a C-section. She was told after several hours of labor that the doctor wouldn't examine her until she agreed to the C-section. Ultimately, her refusal went unheeded. The doctor noted in her medical records that the woman in labor had "decisional capacity," but that the doctor "decided to override her refusal" of the surgery.

The woman's bladder was perforated during the C-section, and she claims her rights were violated. She has opted to file a medical malpractice lawsuit based on the injury incurred during the procedure performed against her will, the violation of her rights and the violation of a proper standard of care.

Sadly, cases like this one of women being pressured into have a C-section aren't all that uncommon. What was uncommon in this case was the doctor's decision to overrule the patient's decision. That decision by the doctor ultimately caused an injury to the woman.

Anyone who feels they have been wrongfully pressured into having a C-section and then suffered because of that might have the right to seek compensation for that injury. Knowing the applicable laws in the appropriate jurisdiction might make the choice easier.

Source: RH Reality Check, "Lawsuit: Staten Island Hospital Forced Patient Into C-Section Against Her Will" Jessica Mason Pieklo, May. 13, 2014

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