Jaundice Neglience case: not primary cause of injury

A  landmark legal case regarding jaundice of an infant child and the physicians who treated her has finally come to an end.

Born in 1996, Kyrcee Hanson-Tasker was discharged from a British Columbia Hospital and discharged despite being born premature. The small infant also showed signs of jaundice.

Twenty years after, the halls of justice in British Columbia's highest court have finally swung down a verdict on this particular case, Hanson-Tasker v Ewart, 2022.

Jurist's ruled that physicians did not adequately treat the infant before discharging her, nevertheless, it does not equate to have been the exact cause of the infant's injuries eight days after leaving the hospital.

In August of that year, Hanson-Tasker's mother, Nadine, pursued legal action against Dr. Brian Ewart and other physicians alleging that in that period of time the medical care was negligent. B.C.'s top court says otherwise.

"Physicians must be judged in light of the knowledge they ought to have reasonably possessed at the time of alleged act of negligence, not with the benefit of hindsight given prevailing standards of professional knowledge," court says.

The child's condition was, or should have been, a significant area of concern for the physicians, and the court's ruling made that clear. The distinction is in whether this reached the threshold of anything equating to negligence from the perspective of physicians in that province, and the duties they are obliged to follow when taking care of patients.

" In my view, this case is not one involving a medical practitioner following one of many clinically reasonable options or approaches, where the exercise of clinical judgment may differ.  Rather, it is a straight-forward case of the need to determine whether the respective practitioners measured up to the standard of care expected of them in the circumstances—being the care of a pre-term infant with jaundice who had been exclusively breastfed," reads judgement from Honourable Justice G.C. Weatherill