Written by Jeff Meyer on 28 Sep 2015
Pope Francis, the 266th individual to hold that title, is only the 4th Pope to visit the United States. Previous Popes who have visited the USA include Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI. Officials in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and New York all greeted Pope Francis warmly to the country.
Pope Francis Takes Time to Speak with Young Man Facing Cerebral Palsy
Pope Francis visited the cities of Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington D.C. during September 22nd through the 27th. During Pope Francis’ stay, he spoke on a number of issues including those living in poverty, the environment, global warming, victims of 9/11, and sex abuse cases within the Catholic Church. Pope Francis stopped his own welcome procession when, through the window of his Fiat, he saw a young man in a wheelchair with cerebral palsy; the Pope subsequently exited his vehicle and kissed the forehead of the boy afflicted with cerebral palsy.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy can be a debilitating disease, and it is caused primarily through either an unusual formation of the brain as it grows, or cerebral palsy can also be caused from a traumatic brain injury. Most of the time, individuals with cerebral palsy have acquired the disorder due to lack of oxygen supply either during or after their birth.
Symptoms of the condition that are commonly noticed during infancy include:
- The infant is either extremely limp or extremely stiff
- Difficulty swallowing
- High-pitched, weak cry
Cerebral palsy eventually leads to:
- Debilitation and atrophy of affected muscles
- Extreme sensitivity to touch, i.e. an individual affected with cerebral palsy might have extreme pain while brushing his/her teeth
- Dermatological complications
- Difficulty maintaining oral hygiene (caused largely by inability to brush teeth)
- Other complications caused by seizures and muscle atrophy
Cerebral Palsy Caused Primarily By Iatrogenic Malpractice during Birth
The most prevalent reason for cerebral palsy is a lack of oxygen during or after birth. The high incidence of birth-related occurrences of cerebral palsy suggests that the neurological disorder is primarily physician-induced. Litigation against physicians accused of iatrogenic malpractice is becoming increasingly prevalent, especially as physician-induced diseases such as cerebral palsy have increased over the years. A physician’s negligence to adequately deliver an infant in labor or quickly perform a caesarean section when warranted are some of the most commonly occurring causes behind an individual’s cerebral palsy. Other indications that cerebral palsy was caused by iatrogenic malpractice include:
- Inadequate prenatal advice and/or care when attending physician had prior knowledge of a high-risk pregnancy
- Injury to baby’s head during labor, causing traumatic brain injury
- Fetal distress after failure to both artificially begin labor and perform a caesarean section in a timely manner
- Delivery team ignorant to breaking of water in mother leading to fetal distress and delayed delivery
- Misuse of delivery tools, such as forceps, which consequently cut off oxygen supply to infant
- Failure on the physician’s part to recognize umbilical cord wrapped around infant, cutting off oxygen supply
- Delivery team incorrectly monitored fetal heartbeat, causing staff to remain ignorant of fetal distress leading to lack of oxygen supply
Iatrogenic malpractice cases are becoming increasingly prevalent as physician-induced illness numbers increase and plaintiffs file suit against their offending physicians.
What Legal Action Can I Take If I Suspect Iatrogenic Malpractice?
If you suspect a loved one of yours is suffering from cerebral palsy due to an iatrogenic malpractice for any of the above reasons, you can take litigation against your physician and you may be entitled to financial compensation from a medical malpractice lawsuit.