By Marc Lallanilla
Maybe he thought it was a “See-Section.”
A man in Australia sued the hospital where he watched his wife deliver a baby via cesarean-section birth in 2018, claiming it caused him a “psychotic illness.”
New dad Anil Koppula filed the lawsuit several years after the successful operation, declaring that the experience led to a “breakdown of his marriage.”
In the documents filed to support his suit, “Mr. Koppula alleges that he was encouraged, or permitted, to observe the delivery, that in the course of doing so, he saw his wife’s internal organs and blood.”
Additionally, Koppula claims “that the Hospital breached a duty of care it owed to him and is liable to pay him damages.”
His lawsuit seeks damages from the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne in the amount of 1 billion Australian dollars, the equivalent of more than 642 million US dollars.
A C-section is the surgical delivery of a baby through an incision made in the mother’s abdomen and uterus, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Health-care providers use it when they believe it is safer for the mother and/or the baby.
There are several medical reasons why a C-section might be performed: an abnormal fetal position or heart rate, labor problems, a large-sized baby, infections or other concerns.
There are risks associated with the procedure, including infection, bleeding, blood clots and injury to the bladder or bowels.
In one recent case, a woman in England was given just hours to live after developing a sepsis infection following a routine C-section.
And earlier this month, a woman complaining of chronic pain discovered that she had a surgical tool the size of a dinner plate inside her abdomen more than a year after delivering her baby via C-section.
A number of health experts have found that many C-sections are unnecessary: Overall, 31.8% — nearly one-third — of all US births were C-sections, according to KFF Health News, despite the risks and the high cost of the procedures.
Women are often permitted to have a partner or family member in the room as they have their C-section, so they can witness the birth of the new baby and support the mother during the procedure.
The hospital in Australia has said that it hadn’t breached a “duty of care,” and Koppula didn’t suffer any real injury because of the C-section he observed.
And the judge agreed: Koppula chose to represent himself in court, where Justice James Gorton dismissed the suit, calling the claim an “abuse of process.”