Pregnancy can be an incredible experience, but it can also be stressful and worrisome. If there are concerns about a baby’s growth or health, identifying potential issues as soon as possible is crucial.
If doctors fail to act quickly and make proper recommendations, a baby can experience preventable injuries and serious conditions that can be irreversible. Under these circumstances, holding a doctor responsible for inaction can be appropriate.
What does inaction look like?
Throughout pregnancy, there are critical milestones doctors look for at every appointment. They listen to heartbeats, conduct blood tests, and view sonograms, all of which are ways to understand the condition of a fetus.
Therefore, inaction could involve a doctor who does not conduct these tests or examinations. Expectant mothers can get an idea of what should be happening at their appointments with the help of articles like this one.
Another way doctors can fail to act is when they receive information or test results but do not take the standard measures to inform parents or recommend care. For instance, doctors who see a fetus is not growing correctly will typically continue monitoring the fetus, treat a mother for an underlying condition contributing to growth problems, or refer the mother to a specialist. If they fail to do this, it could be medical malpractice.
What happens to the baby?
The consequences of failing to address problems during pregnancy vary widely. A baby could be born with defects and severe medical conditions, or there could be difficulty during labor and delivery. In the worst cases, a baby may not survive.
Thus, the fallout of a doctor’s inaction is often extensive, from massive medical bills required for a baby’s care to the emotional trauma of losing a baby.
What can parents do?
Holding doctors accountable for their failures can be an option for parents. Purusing a medical malpractice claim against a doctor who failed to act to the detriment of a baby can result in financial compensation for the massive damages that families can suffer.
And while it cannot undo mistakes or bring a baby back, filing a claim can create a record of negligence or malpractice. A doctor could lose their job or license, preventing other parents and babies from suffering a similar fate.