|AG: Not only doc to blame |
By MIRANDA LA ROSE Wednesday, March 12 2014
THE role of everyone involved in the death of a seven-month-old male foetus which died while its mother was undergoing a Caesarian-section at Mt Hope Women’s Hospital, will be examined, as the doctor who performed the surgery may not be the only one to be blamed, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan says.
“The role of everyone, consultants and the interaction among those who comprised the team,” Ramlogan said, “will have to be examined as it may not be one person to blame for the death of the baby.”
The baby received a gash on his head while the Caesarian-section was being performed on his mother Quelly Ann Cottle on March 1. Nevertheless, AG Ramlogan yesterday said: “However you cut it, dissect it, turn it or twist it...something went tragically and dramatically wrong and that needs to be corrected.”
The case, he said, has to be looked at objectively and dispassionately to see what went wrong, why it went wrong, who went wrong and how to prevent wrong from happening in the future.
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan has said he will forward the report of an investigation into the death of the baby to AG Ramlogan for advice.
Even as he awaits this report, Ramlogan said, “the question of the maternity sector as a whole is one that requires a degree of examination.” Noting it is a priority agenda item for the Health Minister and the Ministry of Health, the AG said sometime ago, a committee was set up to examine standards in maternal health care. The committee has since made suggestions that is in the process of implementation.
He extended sympathies to the parents noting that he was himself a father and the loss of a child is indescribably painful. Noting that in the past, as a civil lawyer he did a lot of pioneering work in medical negligence which in some cases saw doctors being de-registered, Ramlogan said in the case of professional and institutional negligence, the State has a duty and responsibility to look at issues of liability.
“We cannot shirk from our duty when it comes to these matters,” he said, adding if there is a legal basis for advising Khan, he will do so and if there is criminal negligence case to be dealt with, he (Ramlogan) will turn the matter over to the relevant authorities.
Asked if the doctor who performed the C-section could expect to get only a pat on his wrist since his father is allegedly a senior member of the United National Congress (UNC) which is the main party in the People’s Partnership administration, Ramlogan said, “I am not aware of that. I can’t see how that changes anything. The fact is a baby has died. It is a serious thing. I do not see that as a relevant consideration in my judgement.”