A 25-year-old Australian woman is suing an esteemed doctor over her own birth that took place in a Newcastle hospital back in October 1985. That’s right, folks, Halina Jane Gillett is angry about having been delivered via forceps, a move she says has caused her to suffer from erb’s palsy (paralysis in the arm). So now she’s suing her mother’s obstetrician, Professor Jeffrey Robinson, claiming her mother had requested a c-section delivery but that her wishes were ignored, reports The Daily Telegraph.
Halina’s mom, Marilyn Benson-Inglis, was reportedly worried about her pregnancy because she was “much bigger” than on previous occasions. As a result, she says that she asked for a caesarean delivery but was told by Robinson, “I don’t know.” Then she went into labor, experienced difficulties and the doctor had a choice: emergency c-section or forceps delivery. He opted for the latter and, well, Halina is pissed off.
This is a weird one, no? Despite the totally bizarre nature of the suit, it brings up an important issue that’s just as relevant today as it was 25 years ago – a woman’s right to choose her delivery method. There’s been so much talk lately about home births vs. hospital, c-sections vs. vaginal, epidural vs. “natural” – the list goes on. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: at the end of the day, what’s most important is that the baby is healthy. For every unfortunate case like Halina’s, in which forceps are to blame for a debilitating condition, there’s another horror story about c-sections. It’s no wonder doctors – and pregnant women – are so paranoid these days.
It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this case, especially one that’s being brought to light 25 years after the fact. My gut says not much.
(Photo: Snakebite Productions)