Geraci Law has been retained in another maternal birth injury case. A Geraci Law bankruptcy client went to a Chicago hospital for her seven month checkup. Supposedly, she was diagnosed with preeclampsia and despite having a planned delivery at another hospital, the staff at this hospital decided that she needed a cesarean section.
She consented, and was hospitalized after the successful cesarean delivery to recover. In the morning, however, she was found with the IV bag empty, and stopped breathing. She was resuscitated but is now in a coma. As with any possible malpractice case, said Attorney Peter Francis Geraci, “it is a mystery until we obtain the records and get expert opinions. In this case, since the client is in a coma and any nursing home, we are pointing her husband as the guardian, so that we may obtain the records.” Under Illinois law, the person who cannot give consent to a medical provider to release records, where there is no advanced health care directive, presents a problem.
If it was a death, Illinois law provides that the surviving spouse, or other family members, may obtain the records. The Illinois law regarding obtaining records, when a person is in eight coma, should be changed so that the records can be obtained the same as one the person is deceased. Unfortunately, when the law was amendeded in 2011, 735 ILCS 5/8-2001.5 only allowed relatives of a deceased person to obtain records for malpractice review, or social security needs, without a formal guardianship proceeding that takes several months to accomplish.