Maternity & Midwifery Forum
Midwifery Sector News

Informed Consent: Human Rights and Respect in Maternity Care

“This was never about blame, this was never about a particular doctor getting in trouble… this was about me wanting to understand what had happened to me and to make sure it never happened to another person.”

The Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board consent case [2015] resulted in legally enforced consent regulations that dictate that doctors must provide information about all material risks: “any risk to which a reasonable person in the patient’s position would attach significance”.

Nadine Montgomery became pregnant with her son at 24. As a type-1 diabetic (who is only 5 foot tall) she was concerned that her son was growing too big to be safely delivered vaginally. She was reassured that vaginal birth was still the right option. In the end, after a traumatic birth during which she was eventually anaesthetised, her son was born with cerebral palsy as a result of shoulder dystocia during birth.

At the Scotland Maternity & Midwifery Festival 2019, she gave a moving account of the details of her case and explained her motivations for perusing legal action. She presents alongside Maria Brooker, Programme Director at Birthrights (of which Montgomery is now a patron).


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