Legal Considerations

  • Kurt Benirschke
  • Peter Kaufmann


Numerous litigations against hospitals and obstetricians take place in which the placental findings become an important participant in advising the disputing parties on perinatal circumstances. These litigations are initiated most often on behalf of children with cerebral palsy, occasionally with malformations, stillbirth, or with other less than optimal or expected outcomes (Rosenblatt & Hurst, 1989; Richards & Thomasson, 1992). Record keeping of the clinical circumstances and a professional placental study prove to be of utmost importance in many cases. Weinstein (1988), who wrote a concise review on the topic, asserted that such litigation is principally the result of the following:
  1. 1.

    Society’s belief that all wrongs must have a reason and that the wrongs must be put right

  2. 2.

    The pervasive lottery mentality

  3. 3.

    The inability of many individuals to accept responsibility for themselves or their actions

  4. 4.

    An increasing incidence of true medical negligence.



Cerebral Palsy Umbilical Cord Legal Consideration Single Umbilical Artery Placental Pathology 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kurt Benirschke
    • 1
  • Peter Kaufmann
    • 2
  1. 1.University Medical CenterUniversity of California, San DiegoSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Institut für Anatomie der Medizinischen FakultätRheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule AachenAachenGermany

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