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City in Japan to pay $1 mil. to family of baby born with disabilities after malpractice

Kumamoto City Hospital is seen in the city's Higashi Ward in this Oct. 1, 2019, file photo. (Mainichi/Kohei Shimizu)

KUMAMOTO -- The city of Kumamoto is set to pay 150 million yen (roughly $1.08 million) in compensation to a family of a child who was left with severe disabilities after a municipal hospital doctor did not act when the fetus was having issues.

    The municipal government on June 9 announced the malpractice three years before at Kumamoto City Hospital in Higashi Ward. According to the city, the condition of the fetus of a patient at the hospital suddenly changed, but the doctor on duty at the time decided to observe the situation. The patient subsequently gave birth to her child via vaginal delivery, but the baby had birth asphyxia and was left with severe disabilities.

    A causal analysis committee for the obstetric care compensation system, which rewards victims of medical accidents related to childbirth, concluded in September 2022 that a cesarean section should have been performed

    The Kumamoto Municipal Government has since been in talks with the family, and has admitted liability. It will submit a supplementary draft budget for the compensation payment to the regular municipal assembly session scheduled to start on June 16.

    A city official in charge of the hospital commented, "We'll improve cooperation between doctors to prevent a recurrence."

    (Japanese original by Sonoko Nakamura, Kumamoto Bureau)

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