Doctor Wins Negligence Case

Mon Apr 14, 2003 10:00 pm
April 14, 2003

A PERTH court has dismissed a case against a doctor accused of failing to advise a woman to have a caesarian section before she gave birth to a five kg baby.

Tammy Michelle Sheppard, 30, accused general practitioner Pauline Joy Swan of negligence after giving birth vaginally to a boy weighing 11 pounds 13 ounces (5.3kg).

Ms Sheppard claimed she should have been advised to have a caesarian section, because the vaginal birth of such a large baby left her with health problems including bladder dysfunction causing urinary incontinence.

The mother had told the West Australian District Court that Dr Swan, a GP who was qualified in obstetrics, had said the baby, born in 1998, would be about seven to 7.5 pounds (3.1 to 3.4kg).

"She didn't expect the baby to be large at all," Ms Sheppard said.

She said she did not have any internal examinations until the end of her pregnancy when she was told that if a natural birth did not go well she would have to have a caesarian.

The court was told the baby's 20 hour delivery was exhausting and difficult for Ms Sheppard, and the doctor eventually resorted to using a vacuum suction device to free the baby from its mother's womb.

The doctor then cut Ms Sheppard's perineum before she "continued to pull vigorously on the vacuum suction".

The baby was eventually freed with the help of a midwife, but Ms Sheppard was distressed because she did not hear her baby cry.

"She says she briefly thought the child was dead," Judge Hal Jackson said.

"It is clear the plaintiff suffered some pain and discomfort and disability."

However, Judge Jackson said he was not satisfied there had been a breach of the duty of care.

He said the traumatic birth of the large baby had deeply affected both Ms Sheppard and Dr Swan.

"It is clear that the plaintiff felt exhausted, emotional and worried for some time after giving birth and that she felt let down by the defendant's failure to explain matters to her afterwards," he said.

He noted Dr Swan ceased obstetric practice shortly after the incident.

Very little of her complaints appear to differ from a normal, natural birth. Finally a good call from the law courts, perhaps we will see more in the future.


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RE: Doctor Wins Negligence Case

Mon Apr 14, 2003 10:27 pm

"He noted Dr Swan ceased obstetric practice shortly after the incident."

That's probably the most important point.
"I told you I was ill ..." Spike Milligan

RE: Doctor Wins Negligence Case

Tue Apr 15, 2003 6:04 am

ah, with women sueing at the drop of a hat there are less and less OBGYN in this country and women will shortly return to having their children at home. Serves them right.

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RE: Doctor Wins Negligence Case

Tue Apr 15, 2003 2:50 pm

Doctors are human also. I cant see how anyone wants to be a doctor. Cut a persons toe nail and you get sued.
23 victor, turn right heading 210, maintain 3000 till established, cleared ILS runwy 24.
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RE: Doctor Wins Negligence Case

Tue Apr 15, 2003 4:21 pm

I don't know what was so terrible about delivering a 10 pounder.

Some lady down in florida just gave birth to a 13 lb 6 oz kid.

RE: Doctor Wins Negligence Case

Tue Apr 15, 2003 6:20 pm

When I had my last son (5lb and sickly) a woman had just given birth to a 14lb monster vaginally, and even the nurses were talking about that one!



RE: Doctor Wins Negligence Case

Tue Apr 15, 2003 6:52 pm


Ugh! I am so glad I am not a woman - no offense but the thought and pain of childbirth is horrific.

Wasn't it not that long ago that women were complaining that doctors were doing c section when they were unnecessary?

I suppose they can't win.

At my ex's insurance company the *white trash* lawsuits were getting out of control, they had one woman who was investigated who had sued 3 different municipalities for *fall and injure* incidents and a *run up the bum* car accident (one of many) claiming multiple whiplash injuries. After some investigation, video evidence and taking out the jurors to witness first hand this woman doing gardening and such in her luxury home in Sydneys southwest the jurors finally accepted video evidence that set a precident.

What did the slag do? She blocked the reporting of *her actions* saying it was invasion of privacy, *however* the justice allowed the privacy of her naydooing but also forced her to pay back every cent she had made in false claims.

Some people are bad. So are clowns.


RE: Doctor Wins Negligence Case

Tue Apr 15, 2003 7:02 pm

My ex husband seems to earn his living from sueing employers > Sad


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