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Jacob in 1989
Jacob in 1994
The Sweet family
still suffers from
this travesty of
Anchorage Daily News - August 6, 1995
Information leading to the
discovery of the person or persons
Jacob Sweet was born at Providence Hospital in Anchorage, AK on January 16, 1986. He was a healthy and normal baby boy. On January 17, 1986, Jacob was circumcised by James Nesbitt, M.D. of The Children's Clinic. On Saturday, January 25, Jacob's parents, Gary and Beverly Sweet, brought Jacob back to the emergency room at Providence because he was vomiting and fussy and the circumcision site was red and swollen. They were met by Daniel Tulip, M.D., also of The Children's Clinic. Dr. Tulip admitted Jacob to the hospital. Late in the evening of January 26, Jacob suffered a prolonged seizure or "crash" and was transferred to the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit at 2:15 a.m. on Monday, January 27.
Today, Jacob is nine years old and is severely brain damaged. He cannot walk, talk or care for himself in any respect.
Significant and important portions of Jacob's Providence Hospital medical records for the 26-hour period from the time he was admitted until the "crash" are missing.
The attorneys for the Sweets, listed below, believe that there are persons with knowledge of how records may have become 'lost' and would like to speak to anyone with any knowledge regarding Jacob or his "lost" records...
We understand that you may feel pressured not to come forward. All we ask is your complete honesty and your assistance in a matter of extreme importance, not only for Jacob and his family, but also for the medical care of future patients...
Update - March 2000: Alaska Law Firm Settles Lawsuit With
Family of Brain-Damaged Boy
Additional details of the Sweet case are revealed in:
Informed Consent Issue Subject of Case's Remand, American Medical News - July 7, 1997
The next morning (January 26), the child had three stiffening spells, while his mother held him. The spells involved arching his back, rolling his eyes and turning red in the face. In the afternoon, he began to experience the spells every 45 minutes. At 9p.m., the pediatrician put the child on an apnea monitor. The monitor sounded several times during the evening. Rather than respond to the alarm, the on-duty nurse turned down its volume to avoid disturbing the other patients. Finally, at 1a.m., the child suffered a seizure while the pediatrician was present.
...The child's parents sued the hospital and the treating physicians for malpractice. They later amended their claim to include a charge of spoilation of evidence when they discovered that nursing records pertaining to the child's treatments were missing. In the malpractice portion of their claim, they alleged that the treating physician's were negligent in failing to diagnose and treat the child's bacterial infection promptly. The delay in treatment, they claimed, allowed the child's localized infection to progress to a systemic infection or to meningitis, the result of which was the brain injury.
...The jury returned a verdict in favor of the doctors and hospital. The trial court awarded $150,000 in attorney's fees to both the hospital and the physicians.
The parents appealed on two points, contending that they could not prosecute the case successfully due to the hospital's spoilation of evidence, and that the trial court erroneously had instructed the jury on informed consent. The court found some merit in the first point, but held that the trial court's error of not shifting the burden of proof to the hospital on causation did not alter the outcome to the trial.
The jury instruction on informed consent made the case subject to remand.
Sweet v. Sisters of Providence in Washington, 893 p.2d 1252 (Ala. Sup. Ct., April 14, 1995)
NOHARMM Comment: During this appeal, "expert" testimony was given in the form of a videotaped
deposition by circumcision advocate Thomas E. Wiswell, M.D., who incredibly asserted that circumcision
was not surgery.
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