SSD and Malpractice During Pregnancy
- Posted by Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes
- Posted in BlogsMedical MalpracticeSocial Security Disability
From their swoon-worthy romance to their lavish wedding, Prince Harry, the grandson of Queen Elizabeth, and his wife, American actress Meghan Markle, have captivated the world. And now fans of the royal couple have something new to be excited about—a royal baby! Meghan gave birth this week to Archie, a baby boy. He will be seventh in line for the British throne. A beaming Prince Harry addressed well-wishers to let them know that both Meghan and Archie are doing well.
When celebrities and public figures are pregnant, pictures tend to show them looking healthy, put together, and positively glowing. But for thousands of women, pregnancy is anything but pleasant. In fact, pregnancy and childbirth can be filled with many risks and pitfalls, from serious health complications to medical malpractice.
During pregnancy, mild struggles such as weight gain, intense cravings, and emotional changes are to be expected. However, due to the strain of carrying and birthing a child, many mothers encounter health problems beyond the typical symptoms. These complications include:
- Urinary tract infections
- Susceptibility to common infections
- Gestational diabetes
- Hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness
During childbirth itself, there are also many complications that can occur. These include hemorrhaging, preeclampsia, vaginal tearing, or other injuries from a traumatic birth. The baby can also suffer injuries, such as broken bones or head injuries.
Even after childbirth, some mothers may experience issues like high blood pressure, vaginal bleeding, or postpartum depression.
Pregnancy and SSD
Many women choose to work throughout their pregnancy or plan to return to work shortly after giving birth, but complications like these can get in the way of everyday tasks. However, even if a woman is unable to work, she is unlikely to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD). This is because for a condition to qualify for SSD benefits, it must last at least 12 months. Since pregnancy complications, even if they are very severe, do not last for a full year, they will generally not qualify for SSD.
That said, some birth-related complications can still lead to SSD benefits for the child. For example, if a baby is left with a significant impairment, like cerebral palsy or a learning disability, they may qualify for SSD. If a child experience issues at birth but grows up without any long-term effects, their premature birth would likely not qualify them for benefits. On the other hand, if a child has severe learning disability, they would likely qualify, as it will affect them throughout their life.
The Dangers of Childbirth
According to the World Health Organization, around 830 women die every day from pregnancy and childbirth related complications. The vast majority of these deaths occur outside the United States in developing, low-resources countries. However, the United States is the unfortunate leader of maternity deaths among developed countries. Around 700 women die every year. 65,000 experience life-threatening complications during pregnancy or childbirth.
The Role of Malpractice
When women die from pregnancy-related complications, their deaths are usually preventable, and are occasionally the result of a doctor’s negligence or failure to diagnose. During pregnancy and childbirth, much of the focus is on the wellbeing of the baby. This means that a woman’s complaints or warning signs might be overlooked or ignored. Other times, a mother’s injuries might result from a doctor’s actions during childbirth, such as excessive force or improper use of birthing equipment.
Pregnancy and childbirth is an exciting time, but it also frequently puts mothers in dangerous, stressful situations. When a doctor, nurse, midwife, or other medical professional violates their duty of care, it can cause serious complications for both the baby and mother, and might even lead to death. No matter the cause, complications are the last thing a new or expecting mother needs, and doctors should treat both mothers and their babies with dignity and respect.
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