YUMA, Arizona. America’s idea of medical malpractice and
personal injury is changing. More women are becoming aware of their rights
during childbirth and are fighting back when doctors fail to honor their
wishes. In recent months, we’ve seen reports where doctors performed unwanted surgeries
and other procedures on women during labor. According to QZ
one woman was forced to undergo an episiotomy even though she had told the
doctor she did not consent to the procedure. At the end of the day, women in
labor have the right to make a determination of what procedures are and aren’t
done to them while they are giving birth. When a doctor ignores a woman’s
wishes, he or she could be responsible for medical malpractice or personal
However, for doctors working in communities where birth
death rates and injuries are high, it can be difficult for doctors to do their
jobs. According to the New York Times
doctors are reluctant to work in the Bronx where doctors see the highest
complication rates during delivery and childbirth. High complication rates mean
a greater risk for medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors. Some doctors
refuse to work at the hospital because they will likely face so many
malpractice lawsuits while working there that they may not be employable
In fact, when it comes to medical malpractice insurance,
obstetrics and gynecologists face the highest insurance premiums. An injury to
a newborn baby can result in life-long injury and life-long medical costs. In
fact, the New York Times
medical malpractice insurance in the Bronx can cost as much as $196,000 a year.
The unintended consequences of medical malpractice in
obstetrics is that doctors may be reluctant to work in the field in certain
areas. Some rural areas may see a shortfall of qualified doctors. Some doctors
can only afford to work at big hospitals where they have the support of a
larger institution, while other doctors may choose to avoid the field altogether.
It is a delicate balancing act. Women have a right to be
heard during their pregnancies and they have the legal right to refuse care.
However, doctors also have a vested interest to protect themselves and they may
struggle when a patient refuses care that they believe is medically necessary.
Poverty can also affect pregnant women before they even
reach the care of a doctor. Malnutrition, housing insecurity, healthcare issues
resulting from lack of continuous healthcare coverage, and the stress of living
under the poverty line can all impact a woman long before she goes under the
care of a qualified doctor. Some women may not seek prenatal care at all. In
Bronx, 10.5% of babies born received no prenatal care. When doctors are
concerned about malpractice and the hospitals’ coverage of malpractice, this
can also impact the quality of care mothers may receive. We could be seeing a
negative cycle at play, where the good doctors serve less at risk communities
and the doctors who are hired are the ones who, for whatever reason, cannot
work elsewhere. The communities may be served by the worst doctors.
At the end of the day, patients can suffer serious injuries
if they don’t receive proper care during pregnancy and labor. Their babies can
also suffer life-altering and life-long injuries if they are hurt during
childbirth and delivery.
If you or a loved one suffered a personal injury at the
hands of a medical practitioner, you have rights. Schneider &
Onofry, P.C. are personal injury attorneys in Arizona
who work with individuals facing injuries due to a doctor’s medical decisions.
Visit our firm today at https://www.soarizonalaw.com/clients/insurance
to learn more about your rights and options
under the law.