A Scottish obstetrician/gynecologist who decapitated a baby and then sewed its head back onto its torso can return to practicing medicine, BBC News is reporting.
Dr. Vaishnavy Laxman had been brought before a tribunal for her actions back in March 2014. Dr. Laxman, at the time considered one of the top gynecologists in the United Kingdom, was helping a woman deliver a premature baby. What’s worse, the baby was breach. According to the unidentified mother and her attorney, Dr. Laxman should have performed a C-section, but instead chose to proceed with the vaginal birth.
Warning: The Next Paragraph Contains Content That Will Be Disturbing To Some Readers
When Dr. Laxman told the mother, referred to only as “Patient A,” to push, she pulled on the baby’s legs. In the process, the baby’s head became detached from its torso. The baby’s head still lodged in the birth canal, Dr. Laxman instead began a C-section to retrieve it. She then sewed the stillborn baby’s head onto its torso so the mother could hold it and “say goodbye.”
According to The Sun, it’s likely that the infant was already dead before being decapitated.
The mother, who says she was neither given pain medications nor told what was going on, testified that Dr. Laxman was less than sympathetic.
“It’s all right, these things happen, I forgive you.”
Charles Garside, a lawyer for the General Medical Council, said that Dr. Laxman should never have attempted a vaginal delivery in the first place.
“They should never use a vaginal delivery in that situation. New babies are fragile but this tiny baby was more fragile and being pulled or twisted could do a lot more damage.”
However, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, while agreeing that Dr. Laxman had made a serious error in judgment, says her actions “did not amount to impairment of the doctor’s fitness to practice.” Furthermore, the tribunal deemed that Laxman acted out of the genuine belief that the outcome of the botched delivery was “not foreseeable.”
“Even good doctors can make mistakes and that it is sometimes a consequence of the field in which they are practising that the results of their mistakes can be significant.”
The mother, however, was not so forgiving. During the tribunal she stared directly at the doctor and exclaimed “I don’t forgive you,” while Dr. Laxman stared at the floor.
With the tribunal’s ruling, Dr. Laxman is cleared to go back to work immediately.