Symphysiotomy Medical Negligence Compensation Claims
At the moment in Ireland, symphysiotomy medical negligence compensation claims can only be made by women who have recently discovered that they were the victims of the unnecessary and painful surgery during childbirth. Although pressure is being applied to the government to create a temporary window which would allow victims of symphysiotomy medical negligence from many years ago to claim compensation, the majority of women who underwent symphysiotomy operations without their knowledge or consent are being denied their opportunity to make symphysiotomy medical negligence compensation claims due to the two-year Statute of Limitations.
How is a Symphysiotomy Procedure Regarded as Medical Negligence?
Symphysiotomies were performed at a number of hospitals in Ireland between 1944 and 1992 as an alternative to the safer and less painful Caesarean Section delivery. The procedure involved dividing the cartilage between the pubic bones and breaking the pelvis to allow a wider aperture to facilitate the delivery of a baby. In many symphysiotomy cases, women were unaware that the procedure had been performed due to being unconscious at the time but, in all symphysiotomy claims, victims have described similar consequences of impaired mobility, ongoing back pain, incontinence and depression.
As the criteria for making any medical negligence claim is that a patient has suffered an injury due to a procedure which “at the time and in those circumstances” could have been avoided, any woman who has undergone a symphysiotomy either without giving her consent, without being informed of the potential consequences or without being offered the alternative of a Caesarean Section operation, would normally be entitled to make symphysiotomy medical negligence compensation claims. As it is estimated that no more than 200 women who underwent a symphysiotomy procedure still survive, it would appear reasonable that the government should waive the Statute of Limitations for symphysiotomy compensation claims.
What To Do if You Are Concerned about Symphysiotomy Medical Negligence
If you are concerned that you, or somebody close to you, have been the victim of symphysiotomy medical negligence, the first thing to do is speak with your GP. He or she will be able to request a copy of your medical records from the hospital(s) in which you gave birth and establish whether you were the recipient of an unnecessary symphysiotomy procedure. If it transpires that you did undergo a symphysiotomy operation without your knowledge or consent, you will be within the two year “date of knowledge” allowed by the Statute of Limitations and eligible to make symphysiotomy medical negligence compensation claims.
As the Injuries Board Ireland declines submissions for assessment which relate to medical negligence, you will have to engage the services of a symphysiotomy solicitor to pursue your claim for symphysiotomy medical negligence compensation through the courts. In March 2012 Olivia Kearney was awarded a symphysiotomy settlement of 450,000 Euros. Although the amount of the symphysiotomy settlement was reduced on appeal, the Supreme Court upheld the original verdict that an unnecessary symphysiotomy constituted medical negligence and that women should be entitled to make symphysiotomy medical negligence compensation claims – subject to the Statute of Limitations.
Free Symphysiotomy Claims Advice
Until the government relaxes the Statute of Limitations, and more symphysiotomy cases are brought to court, it will be impossible to tell whether the symphysiotomy settlement received by Olivia Kearney is representative of what all claimants will receive. However, it is never too early to discuss symphysiotomy medical negligence claims with a solicitor to establish that you have a symphysiotomy claim which is worth your while to pursue and to determine how much symphysiotomy compensation you may be entitled to receive when it is possible to bring your claim to court.
Consequently, we have set up a free Solicitors Advisory Panel which you are invited to call if you would like to speak with an understanding symphysiotomy solicitor in complete confidence and without any pressure to proceed with a symphysiotomy compensation claim once you have spoken with us. Our solicitors will be able to inform you of the current state of affairs in relation to the Statute of Limitations for being waived and whether you will be able to make symphysiotomy medical negligence claims in the future.
For free expert advice on your symphysiotomy case you can talk to us now by calling our free phone line on 1800 989 850 or by filling in our call back request form at the bottom of this page.
UPDATE 17 April 2013. A Private Members Bill proposed by Sinn Féin’s Health Spokesman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, passed through its second stage in the Dáil to allow a window in the Statute of Limitations to enable symphysiotomy claims for compensation. Full details can be found in our News Section.