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Woman sues doctors over her own birth

August 2, 2011

Wanted caesarean ... Halina Jane Gillett and her mother Marilyn Benson-Inglis

A MOTHER has told a court she is “absolutely sure” she asked her obstetrician if she could have a caesarean birth, only for him to reply “I don’t know.”

Halina Jane Gillett is suing esteemed obstetrician Professor Jeffrey Robinson in the Supreme Court over her own birth in a Newcastle hospital in October 1985, claiming her suffering of the condition erb’s palsy comes from the forceps delivery done by Professor Robinson.

Her mother, Marilyn Benson-Inglis, has begun giving evidence about her pregnancy with Halina after her solicitor told the court that “the injury seen here” (in Halina) was “certainly” a result of the method of delivery.

Mrs Benson-Inglis says she had concerns with her pregnancy, her fourth, because she was “much bigger” than on previous occasions.Erb’s palsy causes paralysis in the arm and is most often caused by shoulder dystocia during a difficult childbirth.

Ms Gillett, like other sufferers, requires physiotherapy and domestic assistance, the court heard.Mrs Benson-Inglis has claimed she requested the caesarean delivery, but the professor replied “I don’t know.”

When she went into labour, there was difficulty and the only two ways to deliver Halina were an emergency caesarean or forceps delivery, the court heard.Professor Robinson, the former head of obstetrics at Adelaide University, may be called to give evidence this week.

Solicitor Nicholas Coren told Justice Ian Harrison this morning “the issue in this case is the failure to undertake the caesarean.”

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One Comment
  1. Michael Timothy Scott permalink

    C-section should have been performed over the use of forseps. I have dealt with so many cases that have paid malpractice for less. The first rule I learned in delivering babies was not to use forseps except to break the protruding bag. My heart goes out to any delivery where judgement is impaired or mistakes are made that result in abnormalities. This is why I worry so much for expectant mothers. So much can go wrong in a good percentage of deliveries that involve a prolapsed cord or breech birth. or any untimely reasons. I hope all pre-parents get to know their gynocologist well and their background, and always have a paramedic around during those final weeks just in case.

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