In a medical malpractice action against a physician, the plaintiff must establish on a balance of probabilities that the physician departed, in a blameworthy way, from the normal standards of skill, judgement, or knowledge prevailing in the medical community at the material time. Where the physician holds himself or herself out as a specialist, a higher degree of skill is required, and the physician is judged based on the conduct of the average specialist in the field who has acquired the knowledge, competence and skill expected of that specialist at the material time. Once the injured plaintiff has proven the requisite standard of care and that this standard was negligently breached by the physician, the plaintiff must then prove that the breach was the actual cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
This paper provides insight into the standard of care required of hospitals, nurses and obstetricians regarding child delivery methods and informed consent in the context of child delivery. My co-presenter, Dr. Jon Barrett, has addressed some of the medical issues involved in the risks of delivery with forceps and vacuum extraction, as well as the timeliness of a caesarean section. To gain an understanding of how the Courts approach causation in this context, the following is a brief summary of recent court decisions from Canada and the United Kingdom.
For the full article, click to download: Forceps and Caesarean Deliveries and Informed Consent: New Issues and Dangers in Child Delivery Methods