As a judge rules no HSA doctor can ever by sued for malpractice, one mother of a severely disabled child declares, she wishes she wasn’t Caymanian.
Justice Richard Williams upheld the controversial section of the Health Services Authority law that provides blanket immunity from medical malpractice suits, for anyone who works for the authority.
It means mothers like Norene Ebanks will never be able to seek compensation from the HSA if they feel the hospital was at fault.
Donette Thompson will soon be turning 11, born with cerebral palsy, she can’t speak, walk, or do anything on her own.
She communicates with her mother, in her own special way.
“She speaks to me by using motions,” said Ms. Ebanks.
“So if she’s in a little bit of distress over her tummy, she’ll kick her foot. If she’s hungry she’ll lick her lips. And of course if she’s in real agony, she’ll cry.”
She added: “Donette is my little angel. I always tell everyone if something is going harm me, she’s not going to let it happen. Just like an angel looking over me.”
Ms Ebanks believes the hospital was at fault for her daughter’s condition, but last week’s court ruling means, even if it was, there’s nothing she can do about it.
“I was disappointed, big time,” she added.
“When my lawyer contacted me i thought she had really great news for me. When she told me the bad news i was almost in tears. I held them back until I came home.”
Even in his own ruling, Justice Williams said he was “uncomfortable with such immunity.”
Her lawyer says they are applying for what’s known as a declaration of incompatibility, whereby if the court finds the legislation to be incompatible with the bill of rights, it is then left to the L.A. to decide if… And how…. Doctors and the hospital can be sued
Cayman 27’s Paul Kennedy has this report.