Baby’s decapitation during birth at Georgia hospital ruled a homicide

“No credible, no reasonably competent obstetrician should ever do this,” lawyer of baby’s parents say

This undated image shows the Southern Regional Medical Centre in Georgia, US where Jessica Ross and Treveon Taylor Sr’s son was decapitated during birth. — Fox5/File

The death of a baby who was decapitated during delivery has been ruled a homicide by a medical examiner’s office in Georgia, United States, Sky News reported.

The parents, Jessica Ross and Treveon Taylor Sr, sued the hospital and doctor who delivered their son, Treveon Taylor Jr in July last year but both of the accused denied any wrongdoing.

The Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled that the baby’s death was caused by a broken neck and human action was to blame for a fracture of cervical vertebrae in the baby’s spine.

In a lawsuit filed against the Southern Regional Medical Centre in Georgia, the boy’s parents alleged that Dr Tracey St Julian delayed a surgical procedure and failed to seek help when the baby became stuck during delivery.

Instead, the parents said that she applied excessive force to the baby’s head and neck.

“This is something that is clearly contraindicated,” their lawyer Roderick Edmond, who is also a physician, told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday. “No credible, no reasonably competent obstetrician should ever do this.”

About three hours passed before Ross was taken for a caesarean section, according to the couple’s lawsuit filed last August, by which time a foetal monitor had stopped registering a heartbeat.

The C-section removed the baby’s legs and body, but the head was delivered vaginally, according to Edmond.

Lawyers for Dr St Julian said they reject the finding that the baby’s injury happened before death.

“Although tragic, that rare outcome has been reported in the medical literature and can happen in the absence of any wrongdoing by the physician, which is the case here,” they said.

One of the lawyers, Scott Bailey, claimed that the doctor used “every manoeuvre a reasonable obstetrician would have employed” to deliver the baby when his shoulder became trapped.

The court filing accused the couple’s legal team of making “salaciously false public statements” to the contrary.

The hospital where the baby was delivered claimed the baby died in the uterus and denied negligence in a court filing.

Clayton County police are investigating a case, with the possibility of referring it to prosecutors, according to the medical examiner’s office.

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