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Can the death of a mother in birth be a wrongful death claim?


Childbirth is a time that should be filled with nothing but excitement and love, but it can become, in the worst-case scenario, a time that is fraught with danger for the mother and the child. Unfortunately, there are instances of childbirth ending in tragedy: the death of the mother. When this occurs, eventually one important question may need to be answered - Was this an instance of wrongful death in which the surviving family members should pursue a legal claim?

The reality is that in many cases the answer to this question may in fact be "yes." And it may be the doctors, nurses or hospital facility itself that could be to blame. Medical malpractice is all too common in Georgia, and medical malpractice at its worse can lead to death for a patient.

The number of different scenarios in which healthcare professionals or facilities could be held responsible for the death of a mother during childbirth are almost limitless. It is sufficient to say that if a mother does die during childbirth, there are a few factors that will need to be considered before a legal claim can move forward.

First and foremost, the ultimate question is whether or not the mother's death was caused by the actions or inactions of the medical professionals involved in the birth. Doctors or nurses may have failed to consider a mother's medical history before going forward with a highly common procedure - a Caesarian birth. Or perhaps the healthcare facility was stocked with defective medical devices that were used during the childbirth process. A wide variety of circumstances could lead to medical malpractice. The surviving family members who go through this type of terrible tragedy will likely need to get an individual evaluation of the unique facts of any given situation.

Source: FindLaw, "Wrongful Death of the Mother," Accessed June 26, 2016

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