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Doctors to discuss options with patients following £5.2 million payout for negligence

Forty-year-old Nadine Montgomery suffers from type 1 diabetes, which can lead to complications in pregnancy and childbirth. She is also small-framed. She maintains that doctors did not properly discuss her options for childbirth with her. When her son was born, his shoulder became stuck – a condition known as shoulder dystocia – and he was oxygen deprived for 12 minutes. Now 16, he suffers from cerebral palsy and copes with considerable disabilities. Nadine has been fighting for compensation for many years.The judgement by the Supreme Court overturns earlier judgements and reflects the fact that doctors did not raise the possibility of a caesarean section with her. Neither did they talk about the difficulties that pregnant women with type 1 diabetes can face. Nadine states that had she known the risks, she would have opted for a caesarean and Sam would have been born safely. She was awarded £5.2 million in compensation by NHS Lanarkshire.The case raises the prospect of doctors being disciplined and hospitals sued if they do not discuss treatment options with patients. Ms Montgomery commented, “I believe that I had the right to know of all the risks surrounding Sam’s birth – and I am pleased the Supreme Court has recognised that. I hope this means that other patients will not have to go through what I have gone through.” A spokesperson for NHS Lanarkshire has expressed frustration with the ruling, stating, “We are disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision which has applied retrospectively to the law relating to informed consent and to this case. We understand, however, that it materially changes the law relating to consent and we along with other health boards in the UK will need to consider very carefully any potential implications for future service provision.”Have you been affected by clinical negligence? Talk to us. We are experienced medical negligence solicitors and can give you the expert guidance you need. Call 01302 320621 or email

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