On July 16, 2004, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology issued a press release about the high number of obstetricians who are quitting delivering babies because they are being sued so much. Highlights of the press release included:
- In 2003, one in two Fellows had been involved in a claim in the last four years.
- Over 76% of ACOG Fellows reported they had been sued at least once; 57% had two or more claims filed against them, and 41.5% had three or more claims.
- Ob-gyns have an average of 2.6 claims filed against them during their career.
- About three in ten (29.6%) of ob-gyns have been sued for care provided during their residency.
- Almost half (49.5%) of claims against ob-gyns are dropped by plaintiffs' attorneys, dismissed or settled without payment.
- Of cases that do proceed to court, ob-gyns win eight out of ten times (81.3%).
- From 1999-2002, on average the length of time from occurrence to closing of the claim was four years; 13% of claims took seven or more years to resolve.
- Closed claim resolution experience:
- No payout - 49.5%
- Dropped by plaintiff - 33.6%
- Dismissed by court - 13%
- Settled without payment - 2.9%
- Settled with payment - 36.0%
- Arbitration or other alternative dispute resolution mechanism - 2.7%
- Jury/court verdict - 8.6% (1)
- No payout - 49.5%
I know that some people do file frivolous lawsuits, but when you have
Settled with payment - 36.0%
Arbitration or other alternative dispute resolution mechanism - 2.7%
Jury/court verdict - 8.6%
That means 47.3% of suits filed were legitimate, and I'll bet that at least some of the ones that were dismissed were legitimate too, there just wasn't enough evidence to prove it, or as is frequently the case, those who filed the suit were harassed so severely that they dropped the suit. I am conservatively estimating that 75% of all the suits filed are legitimate.
What does that tell us about modern medicalized childbirth practices? Either the routine practices are dangerous in and of themselves, or the practitioners themselves are incompetent. It is my belief that most practitioners are themselves only practicing what they were taught, and that most are not negligent simply because they are incompetent. The model of medically managed childbirth is inherently dangerous and causes complications, much more than is reported or prosecuted.
Ladies, go back to trusting your bodies and realizing that your bodies know how to give birth, without the care of any "professional". The only way you will be safe is to avoid the modern medical establishment and learn to care for yourselves.
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