An Australian man who claimed that watching his wife’s caesarean section gave him a “psychotic illness” has sued the hospital where she gave birth for £520 million.
Anil Koppula said that the procedure in 2018 allowed him to see his wife’s “internal organs and blood” and led to a mental breakdown that has ended his marriage.
He unsuccessfully sued the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne for damages of one billion Australian dollars and claimed that it breached its “duty of care” to him.
Court papers said that Mr Koppula “alleges that he was encouraged, or permitted, to observe the delivery, that in the course of doing so, he saw his wife’s internal organs and blood”.
“He says that the hospital breached a duty of care it owed to him and is liable to pay him damages.”
Caesarean section deliveries, known as a “C-section”, are carried out when doctors consider it dangerous for a woman to give birth naturally.
Surgeons cut through the mother’s abdomen and uterus, and lift out the baby directly, usually under either a general anaesthetic or an “epidural block” in the spine.
Women are often permitted to have a partner with them during the procedure for support, and to watch the birth of the child.
Abuse of process
The hospital argued in court that it had not breached any duty of care to Mr Koppula and he did not suffer any injury by witnessing the procedure.
Mr Koppula chose to represent himself in the lawsuit, but an application by the hospital to have the case dismissed was accepted by Justice James Gordon. He said that the claim was an “abuse of process”.
Britain’s Birth Trauma Association estimates that about one in 20 women develop post-traumatic stress disorder after a difficult birth, such as an emergency caesarean.
The charity said that symptoms can include “flashbacks, nightmares and extreme anxiety that makes daily life immensely challenging”.
It is rarer for partners watching the procedure to have negative side effects. A 2004 article published in the International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia argued that partners can experience “significant” trauma, “even if the outcome is not an injured mother or neonate”.
The post Man who blamed seeing wife’s caesarean for ‘psychotic illness’ sued hospital for £520 million appeared first on The Telegraph.