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Portuguese obstetrician suspended after baby born without a face

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A Portuguese obstetrician has been suspended after a baby was born without a nose, eyes or part of his skull, reports BBC News. The parents of baby Rodrigo had not been aware of their son’s severe physical abnormalities until he was born earlier this month. Medical council officials have voted to suspend Dr Artur Carvalho over allegations of negligence.

The report says it has emerged that other complaints, dating back more than a decade, have been made involving other babies. At least six medical complaints are currently open against him, dating back to 2013, according to health officials. Other parents have come forward to share their personal stories with Portuguese media of Carvalho’s alleged failure to detect health issues in their own pregnancies.

Miguel Guimarães, president of Portugal’s medical association (Ordem dos Médicos), said he had directly contacted Carvalho, given the “social alarm” caused by the case. The doctor, he said, had agreed to stop performing procedures while investigations continued. The body’s disciplinary council then met and unanimously agreed Carvalho should be suspended for six months while investigations continued.

Amid outrage at baby Rodrigo’s case, other complaints against Dr Carvalho have come to light. At least six medical complaints are currently open against him, dating back to 2013, according to health officials.

Other parents have come forward to share their personal stories with Portuguese media of Dr Carvalho’s alleged failure to detect health issues in their own pregnancies. 

In one case a baby was born in 2011 with a facial disfigurement, deformed legs and severe brain damage. 

The mother, named Laura Afonso, told Publico newspaper that she had submitted a criminal complaint against the doctor only for a prosecutor to dismiss it. 

Now aged eight, her child had had multiple operations but still cannot speak or walk, she said.

Another criminal case where the child died months after their 2007 birth was also reportedly dismissed without reaching trial, Publico reports.

BBC News report

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