A national news outlet recently published an article that is the second in a multi-part series on pregnancy and birth. The article discusses both the causes and the effects of the recent increase in the rate of families who decide to plan a birth at home or in a non-hospital birth center. Data from a study cited by the article shows that the rate of planned out-of-hospital births has increased by 56% in less than a decade. The steep increase in the home-birth rate raises several questions concerning the effect on medical malpractice and birth injury claims.
The Main Reasons for the Recent Increase in Home Births
According to the author of the recent article, one of the primary reasons for the recent increase in home-birth rates is the general decline in the level of trust afforded to institutionalized medicine and corporate care, especially as it applies to the act of delivering a child.
Complaints have proliferated from patients who were subjected to unnecessary or unwanted interventions in the name of “medical necessity” while giving birth at a hospital. Many professional medical providers are quick to recommend or order complicated and sometimes dangerous procedures during a hospital birth, and mothers and families may not be afforded the opportunity to give informed consent for these procedures in the heat of the moment. It is often not until after a hospital birth is completed that the mother is able to understand the procedures that were performed, and they may not have been necessary.
The Legal Duties of Medical Professionals Who Assist with Home Births
Although planned home births do not occur in a hospital, families often hire a certified professional midwife or a certified nurse midwife to supervise and assist with an out-of-hospital birth. These medical professionals are legally required to provide acceptable care when assisting with a home birth by providing treatment that meets or exceeds the professional standards for out-of-hospital births in the region where the birth occurs. According to the article, home births do result in fewer pregnancy complications, instances of induced labor, surgical vaginal deliveries, and cesarean sections, although in some cases a home birth can be more dangerous than a hospital birth. Medical professionals assisting with home births should be able to identify problems that would require urgent hospitalization and to quickly act in the event of an emergency.
Legal Recourse for South Florida Birth Injury Victims
Florida law requires midwives to obtain a state license and certification before offering their services to assist with an out-of-hospital birth. If a licensed or unlicensed care provider’s negligence causes a mother or child to suffer a birth injury or death, the provider may be accountable for damages through a South Florida medical malpractice or personal injury lawsuit. The victims and their families may be entitled to several categories of damages, including compensation for previously incurred and future medical expenses, funeral expenses, physical therapy and rehabilitation expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of companionship. Victims of medical malpractice or birth injuries, whether occurring in or out of a hospital, should seek the advice of an experienced Florida medical malpractice attorney to determine if a claim for damages is appropriate.
Florida Birth Injury and Medical Malpractice Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice or a birth injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your claim. The Miami birth injury attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank represent victims of birth injuries that occurred in hospitals, as well as during planned home births. Our skilled legal advocates can help you try to hold the responsible parties accountable for their mistakes and pursue fair compensation for your loss. At Friedman, Rodman & Frank, we represent clients in birth injuries and other medical malpractice claims throughout South Florida. Contact us and set up a no-obligation consultation at no cost to you. Call us toll-free at 877-448-8585 or use our online form to get started on your claim today.
More Blog Posts:
Federal Court Awards Additional Damages to Plaintiff Based On Insurance Company’s Bad Faith, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published September 9, 2016.
Court Upholds Verdict in Icy Road Car Accident Case, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published September 23, 2016.