Tuesday, October 11, 2011

VIDEO: Doctor Testifies In Decapitated Newborn Case

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- An emotional and graphic trial is under way after a mother files a lawsuit against Norton Suburban Hospital.
She said the hospital was negligent as her child was decapitated during delivery and she watched it happen.
Micheatria Donelson is taking the hospital to court after she says the 2006 ordeal left her depressed, emotionally unstable and with constant nightmares five years after it happened.
In the civil trial, Donelson is asking for $10 million in damages.
On Wednesday, the doctor at the center of the case took the stand in his own defense.
"I've been delivering babies for 35 years, 6,000 births, and never have I had this case of decapitation, so to answer your question, in my wildest dreams, I didn't expect it at all," Dr. Joseph Bilotta testified.
Doctors testified that Donelson's baby was, at 21 weeks old, previable, meaning it wouldn't live if born.
Donelson's attorneys said at the time of the incident, her child was actually 24 weeks along and was able to survive outside the womb, but it never got the chance.
In court, her attorneys claimed Donelson's high-risk pregnancy required hourly check-ups, which she didn't get. They also claim that as the child began to deliver, Donelson continually buzzed nurses for help with no answer.
Donelson's attorneys said as a result, Bilotta missed signs she was in premature labor until it was too late.
"When I examined her, I could feel some feet, which was somewhat of a shock to me," Bilotta said.
Bilotta testified he didn't know Donelson would begin contractions and didn't give her medication that could prevent it and prolong the pregnancy.
Donelson's attorneys argued she exhibited all the signs, but they were overlooked.
For almost an hour, Bilotta tried to deliver the child, who was stuck in what he called Donelson's "incompetent" cervix, or one that was incapable of delivering a child.
"After several minutes, I felt a give. At first I thought, 'Oh, good, it's delivered,' but then I noticed that the head had separated and it was a decapitation," he said.
When asked if the force he used contributed to the decapitation, Bilotta said, "Yes."
Another contention in this civil case is that Donelson saw the decapitated child as it was born, causing emotional damage.
One of the nurses ran out of the room after the birth.
Defense attorneys argued that Donelson couldn't have seen the baby in the position she was in.
They also claim the baby never would have lived despite the decapitation because it was so premature.
Closing arguments begin Thursday.

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