Nadine Montgomery

“I am absolutely honoured to become an Ambassador for the unique charity Baby Lifeline. Judy Ledger, who has fought tirelessly to give every mother and baby the best possible outcome for nearly forty years is a true inspiration to me.  From my own experience, there is nothing more devastating than uncovering that your own birth tragedy was entirely preventable. However, I take comfort from knowing that positive changes were made ensuring that no other family will endure what we did. I am really looking forward to joining forces and working with the Baby Lifeline team in our joint mission of improving safety in maternity care. Out of our own tragedy, we find our life’s purpose.”

After a long fifteen-year battle, Nadine Montgomery finally won her case at the Supreme Court in London in March 2015 drawing fresh attention to informed consent. Nadine, a type 1 diabetic of small stature experienced severe complications due to shoulder dystocia during the delivery of her son. Her sons head was delivered using rotational forceps but his shoulders became stuck for a period of twelve minutes. During this time various last resort measures to deliver him were unsuccessful, including attempts to break his clavicles, to push his head back inside and finally two attempts were made to break Nadines pelvic bone/cartilage. Her son, Sam was born stillborn and required CPR and adrenaline to restore his heartbeat. This sadly resulted in hypoxic insult with consequent cerebral palsy. Her obstetrician had not disclosed her increased risk of around nine-ten percent of this complication arising despite repeated requests antenatally. Nadine brought a case against her obstetrician arguing that if she had known of the increased risk then she would have requested a caesarean section. The Supreme Court held in her favour with all seven judges unanimously agreeing. The law was changed and it established that a patient should be made aware of any material risks involved in any recommended treatment and of any reasonable alternatives. The Supreme Court added that with the advent of the Human Rights Act, patients are now to be viewed as persons holding rights, not just the passive recipients of the care of the medical profession. 

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