The tragedy of a medical error resulting in a birth injury extends long past the insurance settlement. Victims and their families deal with the disability or the death of an infant for a lifetime. Those who are able to recover and lead productive lives are true heroes, and Michael F. Becker, a Medical malpractice attorney has established a scholarship to recognize their efforts. The deadline for applications is August 10th, 2014.
The $1,000 Birth Injury Scholarship will be awarded August 31st to either the survivor of a birth injury or a family member affected by it. Applicants are required to submit a short essay along with their application, describing what happened and how their life was changed. Anyone attending college this fall with a GPA at 3.0 or above can apply. The deadline for submission is August 10th.
Mr. Becker, one of the top 100 plaintiff attorneys in the country, is sponsoring the scholarship. "The public is generally unaware of how common birth injuries are," said Becker, "They only see the victim, now grown, as suffering a disability like Cerebral Palsy or a cognitive impairment and don't understand it may have been prevented or even more why verdicts and settlements are so high."
A strong advocate for fetal monitoring and the highest standards of obstetrical care, Becker created BirthInjuryJustice.org as a gateway for people seeking information about birth trauma and how legal claims are handled. The scholarship continues his efforts and offers financial support to those dealing with the aftermath.
"I'm extremely proud of anyone who can overcome the initial setback of a birth injury," said Becker. "These folks face an uphill battle right from the start. Specialized therapies and expensive treatments continue long after the event. Making it to college is a real milestone – one we want to encourage. With that said, Birth Injury isn't an individual battle, it takes a community to raise a child, and it takes an even greater community to raise a child with a birth injury so the scholarship is open to anyone with a first hand experience with birth injury, even if they are not the victim themselves."
The application form and other details about the scholarship are available at the Birth Injury Justice website, and Mr. Becker is keen to read essay submissions. He explains that he finds the stories uplifting and inspirational.
"The statistics are a bit misleading. While only between 2 to 5 births per thousand show trauma or preventable injury, these accumulate and the prevalence in the population can be much higher." He points out that, unlike some types of injury, a birth trauma can lead to serious, life-long dysfunction. Thankfully, the overall rate of birth injuries is falling in the US. A focus on good prenatal care and early intervention is credited with the improvement, but those now reaching college were injured when rates were higher. The application can be found on Mike's website.