I have just finished reading Adam Kay’s brilliant memoir “This is Going to Hurt”. Adam was a junior doctor who specialised on obstetrics, and his book is very funny, and very moving. He talks about the physical and emotional exhaustion, and the terrible responsibility of knowing that although obstetrics is mostly about safe outcomes for both mum and baby, there will inevitably be some cases that result in catastrophe such as maternal death, or children with cerebral palsy.
Paralympic gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson was quoted on the BBC Sport website on 9 December 2019, regarding the negative attitudes which she experienced as a disabled woman while pregnant. The article explains that when pregnant with her daughter in 2001, she experienced intrusive questions from strangers and came up against an attitude that she should not have children because of her condition.
The Times yesterday reported on a clinical negligence claim, currently being heard in the High Court, in which a central issue relates to whether or not there is an obligation to tell a pregnant patient that a relative has been diagnosed with a genetic disorder.
It is unsurprising that there is a call for the Crown Prosecution Service to bring corporate manslaughter charges against Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust following an apparently damning report which looks at the culture of the Trust which has led to maternal deaths, stillbirths, babies left brain damaged because the staff failed to realise labour was going wrong or that Group B streptococcus or meningitis was present which required treatment by antibiotics.