Jacob Sweet (16 January 1986 in Anchorage, Alaska – 16 September 2012 in Bellevue, Washington, USA) was a boy who was born at Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska. The following day, on Friday, 17 January 1986, James Nesbitt, M.D. of The Children's Clinic, without medical indication, provided the healthy infant with a non-therapeutic circumcision. The infant was then discharged home.
Complication of circumcision
Then on Saturday, January 25. Jacob was vomiting, fussy, and the circumcision site was red and swollen, so the Sweets returned to the hospital where they were met by Dr. Daniel Tulip, also of the Children's Clinic. Dr. Tulip admitted Jacob to the hospital.
Infection or sepsis is a well-known and common complication of circumcision.
The next morning (Sunday, 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 9 p.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 1 a.m., the child suffered a seizure while the pediatrician was present.
Jacob was severely brain damaged. He was blind and could not walk, talk, or care for himself in any respect.
The Sweets retained Alan Sherry and filed a suit for malpractice against the physicians and the hospital. The hospital lost the medical records of Jacob Sweet so this made the Sweet's case more difficult to prove. The Sweets lost and, moreover, the physicians and hospital were awarded compensation of $150,000 for the physicians' legal expenses and $150,000 for the hospital's legal expenses by the trial court, which were upheld by the Alaska Supreme Court.
The Sweets then discovered that Sherry had misrepresented himself as an expert in malpractice proceedings. They then retained Mark Johnson of the Seattle legal and medical malpractice law firm of Johnson Flora to sue Alan Sherry. The Sherry Law Office agreed to settle out of court for an undisclosed amount of damages.
Jacob Sweet died in Bellevue, Washington on Sunday, 16 September 2012 at the age of 26.
Doctor of Medicine, Wikipedia. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
- Hammond, Tim (22 February 2008).
Jacob Sweet. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
- Williams N, Kapila L. Complications of circumcision. Brit J Surg. October 1993; 80: 1231-6. PMID. PMC. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
- Milos, Marilyn (September 1995)."NOCIRC Newsletter", NOCIRC. "2020-06-19"
- Sweet v. Sisters of Providence in Washington, 893 p.2d 1252 (Ala. Sup. Ct., April 14, 1995)
- (8 March 2000)."Betrayed by Doctors and Lawyers in Alaska, Sweets Find Justice Through Seattle Malpractice Attorney", www.cirp.org, Johnson Flora. Retrieved 19 June 2020. "To me the Sweets are heroic figures, Johnson said. ``In order to right a terrible wrong — the catastrophic injury to their son — they confronted two of society's most powerful institutions: the medical system and the legal system. They fought for 13 years until they prevailed."
- (September 2012).
Jacob Sweet obituary. Retrieved 19 June 2020.