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Wrongful death of pregnant women

When many people in Alaska think about wrongful death, they think of accidents which could have been prevented. Not many people think of a woman's death during childbirth, though. According to NPR, 65,000 women almost die from causes related to childbirth, while 700 to 900 die each year. 

The number of women who die while pregnant or giving birth has risen during the last decade. One contributing factor is the emphasis on the health of the newborn. Infant care receives 78 percent of the state funding for pregnant women and babies. A medical professor says that some doctors do not learn to how to take care of pregnant women and instead focus all of their attention on babies.  

After giving birth, women do not always receive enough information to understand if they need medical attention in the days and weeks after leaving the hospital. Additionally, some medical staff do not always recognize the symptoms of some complications, such as preeclampsia. Some women may experience more complications because their child is delivered through a C-section. Other women do not take care of health problems because they were not planning a pregnancy, making it more likely that they will experience complications later on.  

While some people may think that any death during childbirth constitutes wrongful death, this is not always the case. According to FindLaw, a woman must have died because someone was negligent. Additionally, the surviving family members must be able to demonstrate that the death has caused a financial loss for the family. If a malfunctioning medical device resulted in a mother's death, the manufacturer of the device may be held accountable. In other circumstances, doctors might be responsible if they did not take necessary safeguards when working with the mother.  

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