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Every parent’s nightmare is hearing a doctor tell them their child has died. Certainly the last thing parents expect when they take their child to a hospital is for doctors to mistakenly declare their child deceased. This is the kind of situation that may even surprise a seasoned New York City medical malpractice lawyer. That’s what happened to the parents of an 8-year-old boy at a Chicago hospital after doctors alleged the boy was dead and took him off his ventilator. According to the parents and other relatives, it appeared the boy was very much alive with his eyes and body moving. Doctors initially claimed that the movements were from lingering effects of medication. Yet finally, after nearly five hours off the ventilator and at the incessant urging of the family, the hospital performed a cardiac ultrasound and concluded the boy’s heart was indeed beating. The parents claim that the hours off the ventilator worsened the boy’s already fragile condition. The boy had preexisting brain damage, and now the family is suing the Mercy Hospital and Medical Center for making the boy’s condition worse. According to the boy’s father, the 8-year-old could smile and hear family members before the incident at the hospital. Now the boy is less responsive. The family is suing the hospital and seeking damages in the amount of $200,000 for what they claim is hours of severe emotional distress. Whenever a family suffers financial or emotional distress because of medical negligence, they are often entitled to compensation. The compensation may be for past and future medical expenses or, like the Chicago family is seeking, for the emotional cost of suffering through the tragic mistake. Source: KOAM TV 7, “Suit: Doctors mistakenly declared Chicago boy dead,” Oct. 20, 2012