Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys



ACLU questions obstetric negligence in Catholic Hospitals

Throughout the course of a woman’s pregnancy there may be various complications and situations that arise. Luckily, doctors are trained to treat these complications and keep mom and baby safe and healthy. New York mothers have a right to expect that their doctor will follow an accepted standard of care and not breach his or her duty to the patient or baby. Such a breach could result in a birth injury or harm to the mother.
There may be an issue however, when an accepted standard of care goes against a doctor or hospital’s religious beliefs about treatment.
Recently, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claimed that the ethical guidelines of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have led to negligent care in the delivery room of Catholic Hospitals. The ACLU filed a federal action against the Conference.
The Conference’s ethical rules state that abortion is never allowed. The rules do, however, allow an exception for certain treatments and procedures to cure a serious condition of the mother if such action cannot wait until it is safe for the unborn child, even if the action may harm or result in the death of the baby.
As with most guidelines, they are open to interpretation. In this case, bishops can interpret the meaning of the directives in each of their respective dioceses. These interpretations have resulted in procedural variations in catholic hospitals across the country.
Despite the different procedures and practices based on the ethical guidelines, all hospitals and doctors still have a duty to the health and safety of their patients. Any breach of this duty could be considered obstetric negligence and if such negligence harmed the mother or baby it may be helpful to seek counsel from a New York birth injury lawyer. Birth injuries can be serious and result in life-long conditions or disabilities. Through legal action, victims may be able to recover compensation to ease the financial burden of an injury.


Jay W. Dankner

JAY W. DANKNER was born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, New York. After graduation from law school in 1973, he joined the firm of the legendary, Harry H, Lipsig, under whose tutelage he learned the intricacies of civil litigation and trials. He tried and won his first case against General Motors in a case involving a design defect within weeks after his admission. Thereafter, he focused his attention on the emerging and developing field of law known as products liability litigation.



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