Mis-handled Births: - a shameless term?
I've just seen an advert for one of these cowboy solicitor firms, and one of the things they're encouraging you to litigate for is "a mis-handled birth". I don't even know where to start with this.
For starters, that's just deliberately targeting women who have had a really difficult time in giving birth and who are already going through the wringer emotionally (and possibly physically). It's shameless in its' manipulation of a vulnerable market.
Secondly, I know my opinion of this is massively skewed, having been a Midwife for the last ten years. But I am also a Mother, a sister, an aunty and a friend. A birth is NOT something that is ever 'mis-handled', this is just the most disgusting term I've ever heard in relation to child-birth. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not totally naive and I personally know a family who successfully litigated against their hospital trust as it was proved that the life of their baby could have been saved if a Doctor had have acted sooner. Nothing will ever take the pain away for that family; they didn't sue for money, they sued so that the Doctor would either lose their job or at the very least be severely reprimanded and re-trained (which is was happened) so that other lives would be saved.
However, having worked in a city Maternity unit for ten years I know that there is not one single member of staff who doesn't do their job because they don't love it and because they want to do their absolute best to care for, protect and -if need be- save women and babies' lives. If things go wrong, they do their best to make them right - and will work hours and hours past their home-time, without eating, drinking or peeing to make sure that the women and babies in their care are safe. We as members of staff collectively would all be utterly devastated when something went wrong, either for someone we cared for directly or someone our colleagues had cared for. It would touch the entire unit. I have sat with many families whilst they try to cope with their loss and it is awful.
So for these money grabbers to target these families when they're vulnerable, in order to make some money out of them is just wrong. Admittedly there are very occasional cases where the fault does lie with the staff, but on the whole things go wrong for no reason - and not one single one of us has a crystal ball or x-ray vision to allow us to see what is happening in utero or what is about to happen. All staff can do is their best. Grr. End of rant.