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High Court Orders Mediation in Life Support Dispute

Monday, November, 18, 2019

A High Court judge recently ordered the family of a pregnant woman kept alive on life support for a month to protect her unborn child and the doctors treating the woman to mediation. The family filed a lawsuit against the doctors claiming they failed to diagnose a brain cyst that rupture and left the woman brain dead and in a state of “limbo” for several weeks. The lawsuit also included claims of nervous shock.


According to the attorney for the doctors and hospital, it has been trying to achieve a settlement in the case thus far, and the two sides have been trying since last February.


The woman, known only as Ms. P, died in late 2014 after her family brought the High Court an application to turn off life support. She had been kept alive because she was pregnant and it was the hope that the fetus would be viable if Ms. P’s body could be kept alive to support the unborn child.


The High Court decided in December 2014 that life support could be turned off.


According to attorneys working on the case, the hospital admitted liability for Ms. P’s death but in order to win the case the family must show that they meet the criteria for nervous shock. The claims of nervous shock were made by the two children of the woman, as well as her widowed father, brother, three aunts, and a cousin. They claim that Ms. P was being kept on life support against their wishes.


Mediation was ordered by the judge to occur on a date to be selected around mid-November but which would not affect the trial date