Baby had no chance, says doctor

The doctor accused of letting a premature baby die in her mother's arms said it would have been "futile, heroic and foolish" to try to keep the child alive.

Dr Faisal al-Zidgali, a paediatrician at Ayreshire Central Hospital said Rebecca Cassidy had been "extremely premature" and stood no chance of surviving.

Rebecca was born at the hospital in September last year following a pregnancy of up to 25 weeks, but Dr Zidgali deemed her to be "non-viable" with no prospect of survival.

Her mother, Kirsty, told the court yesterday that she pleaded in vain for him to do something to save the baby because she thought she looked healthy and normal. In her evidence she said the decision whether a prematurely born baby had a right to life should be made by the parents, not doctors.

But Dr Zidgali told the fatal accident inquiry at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court that Rebecca had been an extremely premature baby - 12 inches long, with a head smaller than a tennis ball, bruising across her head and abdomen and fused eyes.

Her heart rate was between 10 and 12 - compared with a normal rate for newborn babies of 120-160 and she felt cold because of poor circulation. She was gasping rather than breathing and the movements she was making were down to involuntary muscle and nerve spasms, the doctor added.

"Rebecca did not have any chance of surviving because of her condition and I did not have any doubt in my mind," he told the inquiry. "We are not just dealing with a premature baby. We are dealing with a very extremely premature baby.

"I think it is futile, heroic and foolish to try to do something for a baby that in my clinical judgement is not viable. You should not do anything to harm the baby."

Dr Zidgali said he had resus-citated premature babies before, even those born in the 23-25 week period (the legal limit for abortion is 24 weeks), but they had all had high heart rates and looked pink and relatively healthy. The longest any survived was for two or three days. In his most recent case, the baby had died after just 10 hours.

Dr Zidgali also denied a number of times that there had been a complete communications breakdown between himself and the parents. After Rebecca's birth he had said to Mrs Cassidy: "I'm very sorry, she's in a very poor condition and there's nothing I can do."

"There was no criticism of my management. She thanked me and wished me the best of luck, and it's not common for us as juniors to be wished the best of luck. I felt really that I did something. That a mum who had been through all this appreciated me and wished me the best of luck."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth Games
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
film
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
Extras
indybestSpice up your knife with our selection of delicious toppings
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL DBA (2005/2008/2012, projects, storage requirements)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

Copywriter - Corporate clients - Wimbledon

£21000 - £23000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Copywriter - London As a Copywrite...

Horticulture Lecturer / Tutor / Assessor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: As a result of our successf...

Retail Lecturer / Assessor / Tutor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education are succ...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried