Bryant goes to trial today …

After a long wait of over 4 years 7 months, Bryant’s medical negligence case goes to trial today; represented by Thomas Philips and Malik Imtiaz.
Born on 12th May 2003 Bryant has not been able to cry, suck, or swallow since birth. In his first two weeks of life, his eyes remained shut and his body movements were hypotonic. Though he is now able to move a bit more, the movements are spastic, and he tends to arch his neck a lot when agitated. He has no trunk control and subsequently is unable to lift his head and sit, let alone stand. His pupils are not equal, and he does not appear to be able to focus at all. We have also discover through numerous tests that he is also unable to see and hear.
Bryant is the first grandchild (my nephew) in the family. The latent phase took two hours, and the active phase was approximately six hours. After the latent phase there was a change of nurses at the hospital, and we were on many occassions left unattended. It was two hours from the time Val (my sister / Bryant’s mom) was fully dilated (according to a nurse that came in to check) before the doctor came to deliver the baby.
During the second stage Val was told by yet another nurse to push the baby until the crown showed while we awaited the doctor’s arrival. When the doctor finally arrived and Bryant was delivered he was not breathing. He had to be resuscitated and was subsequently sent to the NICU. Resuscitation, by the way, was also delayed.
Val was tested for some metabolic diseases, and all results were negative. Both parents have no family history of illnesses and they lead healthy lifestyles (no smoking or drinking, good diet and exercise and the couple is young).
Regardless of the outcome of the case, our main objective is to create awareness on midwifery issues as well as the plight of kids like Bryant in Malaysia. To that effect, we are actively involved in support groups and have raised funds in our own limited capacity with the assistance of other family members and supportive friends for children like Bryant in homes in the Klang Valley.

6 thoughts on “Bryant goes to trial today …

  1. Thanks for sharing this touching story. Though I’m not competent to offer you any advice, I do hope & pray that you get justice and that Bryant gets better with age and leads as normal a life as possible.There’s one interesting book on medicine I’d recommend you read- Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande. I read it a long time ago, but I remember there was an interesting bit on medical negligence and how even good doctors can go bad and screw up things.

  2. Keat and Dr., thank you so much for your kind words and hopes for us.Dr., I’ve forwarded your mail to my sister, Valerie, and I read your letter/article in the NST. You are truly courages and a rare gem. Thank you for speaking up.=====Medical mistakes: Let truth be sacred for doctors By DR CARY OOI, Sydney, Australia03 January, 2008ON behalf of my patients, I wish to express great appreciation for your timely expose of a particularly serious healthcare problem (“When docs get it wrong” – NST, Nov 11). Research has shown that victims are compelled to go to court just to seek answers for their medical injuries (rather than out of a greedy desire for monetary compensation).However, all too often courts have no choice but to let off doctors accused of negligence because of excellent defence strategies by insurers and the refusal of doctors to testify against colleagues.Precisely for these reasons, in Malaysia in the 1980s, an eminent paediatrician and a hospital were able to successfully defend a suit for medical negligence. The matter took a decade to be heard and cost the plaintiffs thousands of ringgit in legal fees. Almost two decades later, one of the plaintiff’s reports of the case was published in a peer-reviewed journal, the Australian Family Physician, following review by experts that the patient had indeed been severely brain-damaged by medical and hospital negligence. He did not have a genetic disease as the defendants had claimed.Undoubtedly, the case is only one of several unknown and reported miscarriages of justice for medical errors. It only came to light because one of the two plaintiffs was a doctor.Doctors should be committed to the concept of truth in medicine, and lawyers justice in law. With 50 years’ experience in medicine and 35 years in health law, I fear the ideals are unachievable – in Malaysia, Australia and most other countries. But the best is yet to be. Take heart.

  3. I have read Bryant’s touching story with much interest and understanding.A doctor specialising in the managment of brain-injured children, I’d be happy to answer medical questions – including providing medical reports and expert court-testimony, if necessary to secure justice and a future for Bryant.Best wishes to him and his loving family. Dr Cary OoiMBBS; PGDipHealthLaw, GCAE,

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