As seen in Ici Radio-Canada by Raluca Tomulescu, 2nd November 2022.
Original article in French
DISCLAIMER: This story contains details that some readers may find upsetting.
Emilie Negahban lost her baby after a difficult delivery on February 4, in Vancouver. As former attorney general David Eby prepares to become premier of British Columbia, she calls for the modernization of the law called the Family Compensation Act, which determines who can seek restitution after a death is deemed wrongful.
All I wish was to be able to go home with my son because I did everything I should have done during my pregnancy to have a healthy baby , claims the 32-year-years, who survived cervical cancer.
But little Nathaniel died in the hospital a few hours after coming into the world because the delivery
took too long, says his mother.
With her family, she is begging David Eby to intervene to change the law, because, when he was Attorney General, he said he made it a priority in December 2020, within the framework of the current mandate of the provincial government.
He reiterated this commitment in an email sent last May to Emilie Negahban’s mother, Catherine Barry, in response to one of his many calls to action.
Emilie Negahban’s water broke on February 2, 2022.
She says it wasn’t until 30 hours after she first presented to Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver that the flare-ups could begin. She says she had to go home twice because her cervix was not dilated enough.
After more than three hours of pushing, the baby still did not come out.
From the start, I told them that I had no problem doing a caesarean section, explains Emilie Neghaban […] But the doctor said: “No, we will try by natural means.”
The team then tried to use the obstetrical vacuum cup, an instrument that is applied to the baby’s head to help it come out, but it did not give more results after three attempts. It was then that Emilie Negahban was sent to the operating room for a caesarean section.
“ He was so stuck […] they had to push really hard on his head. When they pulled him, he wasn’t crying, he was all blue. »
Nathaniel later had to be transported to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at BC Children’s Hospital because he was unable to breathe on his own. Doctors could do nothing to save him, however, and he died in his mother’s arms.
A traumatic childbirth
According to Emilie Negahban, the autopsy indicates that Nathaniel lost his life following a traumatic childbirth, during which he suffered from asphyxiation and a fractured skull. She adds that the report says that the child was otherwise healthy.
She adds that she learned of these results in July through a doctor, but that she never received the autopsy report.
The BC Coroners Service was unable to provide a copy to CBC/Radio-Canada, stating that this medical information is confidential.
An investigation into the death remains open , a spokesperson said.
Vancouver Coastal Health ( VCH) writes in an email:
An extensive quality of care review was conducted [with the aim] of identifying system issues that could be improved. She, however, declined to give further details to CBC .
Emilie Negahban hopes that a situation like the one she experienced will not happen again.
My goal is to change this law. […] We cannot bring the Hospital to justice because the children [are worth nothing] , she laments.
In fact, the Family Compensation Act does not take into account losses other than those resulting from financial damages, explains the lawyer of the firm DJJ Law, in Vancouver, Azool Jaffer-Jeraj, who is also a member of the Association of Jurists of French-speaking British Columbia (AJEFCB). Basically, he says, the lives of financially dependents, such as children or retired parents, are deemed
worthless by the BC government and insurance companies.
” The problem is that our legislation dates back to the 1800s. “
According to him, this law must be modernized to improve access to justice for families, but also, so that punitive damages can be imposed on those responsible for a wrongful death.
This is how people learn lessons , he believes.
A bill already ready
The BC Wrongful Death Law Reform Society is an organization that has been campaigning for the achievement of this objective for 25 years and tries to raise public awareness of this issue through the examples of people who have experienced a situation similar to that of Emilie Negahban.
According to its president, Michael-James Pennie , a proper law would place equal value on all human life and take into consideration the deprivation of care, guidance, love, affection and companionship felt when a family loses a loved one. its members unjustifiably.
The body says it met with David Eby in 2019. He prepared a draft bill, titled the Wrongful Death Accountability Act ,
a major step up from the current system , after consulting with other laws in Canada. He invites the government of British Columbia to review and present it.
The latest version was submitted to David Eby in 2021, according to the body.
According to the organization, the first version of the bill was drafted in 2017 and updated in 2020 and 2021, Ed .
In a statement, the department of new Attorney General Murray Rankin maintains that its goal is to address this issue within the mandate of the current government. However, he points out that there are a number of steps to take to get there.
“We would be happy to meet again with the [ BC Wrongful Death Law Reform Society ] as part of our stakeholder engagement process ,” the statement also said.
David Eby did not respond to CBC’s requests for comment/Radio Canada.
The next provincial election is scheduled for 2024 in British Columbia.
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