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The magnitude of the harm

Birth injuries are among the most affecting of all medical malpractice cases, in both senses of the word "affect." They affect the health of the child, leaving them with a lifetime of medical consequences and they are affecting emotionally because they cause harm to an infant, who is most dependent on us for all of their care.

For an expectant parent filled with the hope, the birth of a child should be a joyous event. When a medical condition appears, it can cloud those expectations, leaving a parent occupied with trepidation and fear. When a condition seemingly can be remedied by medical intervention, parents can again be hopeful.

However, when the hope is dashed by the negligence of a doctor or hospital in that treatment, one can imagine few situations that would be more devastating for a parent. Their child, after the negligence, is now faced with an uncertain future, perhaps in need of constant, life-long care, that can demand astronomical sums.

Such a case occurred across the border from Indiana at a hospital in Chicago. The child  suffered a punctured pulmonary artery during esophageal surgery, and developed brain damage and cerebral palsy, as a result, he has received a $30 million settlement of a medical malpractice lawsuit, making it the fourth largest in Illinois history.

But this sum is hardly a prize, as the boy, now six-years-old, will face a lifetime of medical care. For the parents, not only will they have to deal with concerns over ensuring the boy receives proper care for the rest of his life, but they need to ensure that the settlement is properly invested and managed in trust for the boy, as it may need to fund his care long after his parents are gone.

The large sum is a testament to the incredible damage done this boy at birth, which should affect us all.

Source: Chicago.suntimes.com, "$30 million settlement in malpractice case against surgeon, Rush," FRANK MAIN, February 22, 2016

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