If you've had a child, you know giving birth can be one of the most physically and emotionally demanding experiences in a woman's life.
Catherine Skol, a former Chicago police officer, was well aware of this when she arrived at Rush University Medical Center in March to have her fifth child. However, nothing could have prepared her for the horrible ordeal she was about to face.
According to a civil suit filed Monday, Skol arrived at the hospital at about 4 a.m. Her usual doctor was out of town, so Dr. Scott Pierce filled in. The lawsuit alleged that Pierce showed up at Rush four hours later, and when he did, he allegedly reprimanded Skol for not calling before coming in. The lawsuit claims he said there was not enough time to administer pain medication.
The suit also accuses Pierce of telling a nurse that Skol got the pain she deserved because she had not called ahead.
"Sometimes pain is the best teacher," he allegedly said.
Skol says the doctor gave her an excruciating vaginal exam in the middle of a contraction. Then, although she was not fully dilated, she claims Pierce instructed her to start pushing.
When Skol or the staff questioned his methods, Pierce told Skol, "Shut up, close your mouth, and push," according to the suit.
Skol accuses the doctor of giving her unnecessary stitches after the birth, using an excessively large needle.
A spokesperson for Rush said Pierce is in private practice and is not employed by the hospital, and that the hospital in no way condones the actions described in the civil suit.
Dr. Pierce declined to comment.