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Case 403 - Husband not allowed to stand up during his wife’s pregnancy scan for health and safety reasons

Issue

During his wife's pregnancy scan at hospital a husband stood to pick up his 20 month old son who was misbehaving. Upon standing he was told that due to health and safety he was not allowed to stand up during the examination.

Panel opinion

Pregnancy scans need to be conducted carefully to check on the development of the foetus. Partners moving around during the scan may be distracting to the sonographer and small children could injure themselves or others if they are roaming free with medical equipment all around them. However, it is misleading to suggest that partners can't stand up or siblings need to be controlled under health and safety legislation.  Asking partners to remain seated when appropriate or controlling young children when necessary in these circumstances is generally a matter of common sense. A simple briefing before the procedure would explain this and help to avoid any misunderstanding.

2016-11-04