The following explanation comes from Attorney Mark R. Bower in a post to a professional listserv, in which attorneys fighting for patients' rights discuss issues that impact on their work. He wrote:
Those of us who have been handling obstetrical cases for a long time (32 years, in my case) have watched over the last three decades, as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG, i.e., the organization that certifies doctors in the obstetrical specialty, and therefore, should be making certain that they have sufficient knowledge and skills to keep their practices safe) has been transformed from a scientific "college" of obstetricians and gynecologists that genuinely had the advancement of the practice at heart, to a high-falutin' trade organization that exists chiefly to promote the economic /litigation interests of its members. The transition is unmistakable.
Take, for example ACOG's unshakable acceptance of Cytotec for inductions even in the face of countless cases of catastrophic medical events during deliveries, in which Cytotec was used. Their guidelines clearly endorse the use of Cytotec (See: excerpts from ACOG Committee Opinion, Number 228, November 1999, Induction of Labor with Misoprostol with Mark Bower's Commentary) in spite of warnings against the use of Cytotec for induction of labor by both the manufacturer of Cytotec and the FDA.
If ACOG placed the wellbeing of their patients, the mothers and children for whom they care, as their first priority, they would never embrace a drug that unpredictably results in serious injuries and deaths. Further, their members, the obstetricians upon whom we are reliant to deliver our babies, make it impossible for us to truly appreciate the extent of problems Cytotec actually cause, because they fail to report the problems, and they fail to even record or admit to a causal relationship between the use of Cytotec and the problematic deliveries in the medical records in which the adverse events occur.
Time and again, when I am in deposition, I ask a doctor, "What caused ____?" [Fill in the blank with any of the injuries that bring patients to me, like uterine rupture or the need for hysterectomy after delivery, or amniotic fluid emboli, or death, or any of the various injuries we know result from hyperstimulation of the uterus by Cytotec]. And time and time again, the obstetrician tells me, "It was a spontaneous event." They deny that Cytotec caused the problems. The problems just happened. It was God's will. . . I just don't buy it. How could these caring professionals detach themselves so completely from the reality of the dangerousness of this drug?
It is beyond belief, but the position of the professional organization of obstetricians, as well as the individual obstetrician with whom I have had contact as adversaries in lawsuits surrounding Cytotec injuries, continue to use and endorse this drug.
Mark R. Bower, Esq., A.A.C.L.M.
To Families who have been injured though the use of Cytotec:
While there have been discussions about the more judicious use of Cytotec, nothing has changed.
Insufficient research has been done to establish guidelines for the safe use of Cytotec. Having personally reviewed the medical records of dozens of mothers and babies who suffered serious injuries, and then deposing many of the physicians and nurses who administered and monitored these mothers, it is very apparent that the convenience Cytotec offers to labor and delivery personnel blinds them to the true and unpredictable risk it poses to many women. Other than women who have had more than five babies, or prior cesarean sections, no work has been done to look at the general population of mothers and babies who suffered birth catastrophes to attempt to identify the risk factors that put some patients at an increased risk for uterine rupture, etc. when this drug is used on them.
The one common thread that ties all of the Cytotec disaster stories together is the recurring pattern of the doctors saying, in one way or another, that they are shocked at what happened, and had no idea this could take place.
As it stands, this drug can be administered to any woman without alerting to its potential risk. Click here to read the guidelines issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, for what is purported to be "safe" use of Cytotec.
I am appalled at what is happening, and am deeply committed to do what I can to change the way Cytotec is being used. I invite you to contact me for a free interview and review of your case, and if you have a meritorious case, we will help you proceed with a lawsuit.
Mark R. Bower, A.A.C.L.M.
Board-Certified in Medical Professional Liability
Law Offices of Mark R. Bower
176 Broadway, 10E
New York, NY 10038
tel: (212) 240-0700
Mailing Address: 15 Wimbledon Drive, #3, Vernon, NJ 07462
(Not licensed to practice law in NJ)
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