Do Fetuses Feel Pain? A Jury Will Soon Decide
By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ Jun 06, 2016
Perhaps the most tragic cases of medical malpractice are those that involve pregnant women and their unborn babies. Such is the case of one Jo Ann Page, who when 33 weeks pregnant with twins, suffered from preeclampsia. Rather than taking immediate action to treat the preeclampsia, negligent doctors delayed both diagnosis and treatment, resulting in stillborn births of the twins. In her claim filed against the negligent parties, Ms. Page not only seeks compensation for her own pain, suffering, and emotional anguish, but also damages for the pain of her stillborn twins.
Plaintiff’s Lawyer Presents Evidence That Fetuses Can Feel Pain
Whether or not Page will receive compensation for her deceased babies’ pain relies on whether she presents sufficient evidence to convince the jury that fetuses 33 weeks of age are capable of feeling pain. According to an article in The Legal Intelligencer, the judge over the case stated: “There is scientific support for the conclusion that viable fetuses at 33 weeks’ gestation have the cortical, subcortical and neurochemical capacity for conscious perception of pain.”
The defense filed a petition with the court asking it to preclude testimony from one of the plaintiff’s witness during the testimony, which spoke to the ability of fetuses at 33’ weeks gestation to perceive pain. However, the motion was unsuccessful.
Now, the jury will have to decide whether or not it will include the fact that the fetuses suffered pain as part of its verdict, potentially significantly increasing a verdict amount.
Medical Malpractice and Birth Injuries
Not only did the delay in diagnosis of preeclampsia and, therefore, the delay in treatment, lead to the stillborn births of both twins, but it also caused significant harm to Jo Ann Page herself, who almost died as a result. Matt Casey told reporters that the doctors’ negligence caused Page “catastrophic physical and emotional injuries” as well.
When medical malpractice leads to the harm or death of a newborn child, surviving parents often have no clue what to do or where to turn. Losing a child – even one who had not yet been born – is a devastating experience. When that loss was preventable but for the actions of a medical professional, feelings of anger, depression, and confusion can set it.
While nothing can reverse the harm done, filing a medical malpractice lawsuit can help your family to receive the necessary financial support you need to move your life forward. It can also raise awareness about bad medicine, and substandard care.
Contact Us Today!
At the law offices of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., we are on your side. If your child has been harmed due to a negligent medical act, we will fight for you. To begin, please contact our experienced Philadelphia birth injury attorneys to request a free case consultation. We will do everything we can to get you the compensation that your family deserves.