Stock Dubai courts and Public Prosecution
The Dubai courts and Public Prosecution building. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: A Dubai-based doctor was found guilty of medical malpractice and negligence after failing to accurately diagnose a pregnant patient suffering from lupus, resulting in the death of her foetus.

In January this year, Dubai Court of Misdemeanours had convicted the defendant and fined her Dh50,000. The doctor denied the charge in court. The Dubai Court of Appeals upheld the verdict and ordered the defendant to pay Dh20,000 in blood money for the lost foetus.

The 31-year-old expatriate woman was 32 weeks pregnant when she went to a Dubai private hospital, complaining of heartburn, chest pain, swollen face and body. She was examined by the 34-year-old doctor, who prescribed paracetamol to treat the woman’s symptoms, before sending her home.

Lawyer Awatif Mohammad from Al Rowaad Advocates told the judges that two days after her client was discharged, her condition deteriorated and she fell unconscious. “She was found by the domestic helper who called in an ambulance, but it was too late and she delivered a stillborn baby due to what reports said was eclampsia and placental abruption,” said the lawyer.

Awatif told the judges that reports by a Dubai Health Authority committee of physicians confirmed negligence and malpractice on the part of the doctor. “The medical report said the medical practitioner showed ignorance of technical aspects that a practitioner should have been familiar with.”

After losing her baby, the woman was diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia and Hellp syndrome.

According to case records, the doctor failed to get necessary medical investigations done and let the woman leave the hospital despite her critical condition.

“My client and her husband are still suffering from emotional, financial and physical impact due to such negligence of duties,” said Awatif. “She resigned from a well-paying job to focus on her pregnancy and when this incident happened the couple had to cover the treatment costs for a condition that my client suffered due to this malpractice.”

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A civil case has been filed, seeking more compensation.