When a 28-year-old woman in Hawaii became pregnant in 2010, she hired a midwife to help with the delivery of her baby because she wanted to give birth naturally and the midwife’s website seemed to provide the information and experience that the pregnant woman wanted for her and her baby. The midwife held herself out as a “naturopathic doctor.” There was no way for the woman to know that her decision would result in her baby being born deprived of oxygen at birth, resulting in a permanent brain injury, allegedly due to the negligence of her midwife and the midwife’s assistant.
What is a naturopathic physician?
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (“AANP”) states on its website, “Naturopathic physicians combine the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Steeped in traditional healing methods, principles and practices, naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. By using protocols that minimize the risk of harm, naturopathic physicians help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create a healing internal and external environment.” Source
The Hawaii midwife, who is listed in the “Find A Doctor” section of the AANP website, was called to the woman’s home on the evening of July 3, 2011 when the woman began having contractions and her amniotic fluid started to leak, according to the medical malpractice lawsuit filed by the woman. The midwife and her assistant arrived at the woman’s home on the morning of July 4th. During the afternoon of July 5th, the midwife instructed the woman to begin pushing and she gave birth about eight hours later. The baby was born limp and in respiratory distress and was transported by ambulance to a hospital.
The medical malpractice lawsuit that was filed on March 25, 2013 alleged that the midwife gave the physicians at the hospital inaccurate information, stating that the woman’s water broke three hours before delivery and that the woman had been in labor for only three to four hours before the baby was delivered. The midwife also allegedly advised the hospital that the baby had been provided oxygen after birth, which was not true, according to the medical malpractice lawsuit.
The medical malpractice lawsuit claims that had the woman been taken to the hospital for an emergency cesarean section, as her condition required, that she and her baby would have received the appropriate and timely care and treatment that would have avoided the baby’s severe and permanent injuries. The malpractice lawsuit alleges that the midwife failed to diagnose the baby’s respiratory distress and failed to use a fetal heart monitor during labor and delivery.
If you, a family member, or a friend may be the victim of medical malpractice in Hawaii or in another U.S. state, you should promptly consult with a Hawaii medical malpractice attorney or a medical malpractice attorney in your U.S. state who may be willing to investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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