Newborn baby died after parents took him home against medical advice

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MERTHYR TYDFIL, WALES - OCTOBER 9:  A general view of Prince Charles Hospital on October 9, 2020 in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. The hospital falls under the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board whose hospitals have reported an increase of Covid related deaths. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
Edward Boundy-Hill died at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. (Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)

A two-day-old baby died at home after his parents discharged him from hospital against medical advice, an inquest heard.

Edward Boundy-Hill was born at home four weeks premature before being taken to hospital for checks.

An inquest heard his parents went against medical advice by discharging Edward with mother Zoe Boundy, 29, as she was scared of hospitals, a fear known as nosocomephobia.

However, health chiefs said that although it was against advice, both mother and baby were "seemingly well" and "there were no grounds for involvement from police or social services" regarding them leaving.

The hearing returned an open verdict which, according to Crown Prosecution Service guidelines on inquests, means "there is insufficient evidence for any other verdict".

Zoe Boundy and Jamie Hill took their son home from hospital against medical advice, though health chiefs said 'there were no grounds for involvement from police or social services' regarding them leaving.
Zoe Boundy and Jamie Hill took their son home from hospital against medical advice, though health chiefs said 'there were no grounds for involvement from police or social services' regarding them leaving.

The inquest heard mother Boundy and dad Jamie Hill took Edward home to Bargoed, Gwent, but soon noticed problems with his feeding.

Two midwives attended their house and offered advice but Gwent Coroner's Court heard the health workers were not worried.

But less than an hour after the second visit, Edward was lethargic and when Boundy tried to bathe him to rouse him, he was still.

Paramedics attended the house and attempted resuscitation but he was declared dead at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil in September 2019.

Paediatric pathologists Dr Andrew Bamber said there were signs of possible fluid inhalation and traces of cannabis in Edward's blood but no evidence that either would have caused his death.

The medical cause of death was registered as unascertained.

Coroner Caroline Saunders returned an open conclusion.

Writing on what would have been Edward's first birthday, Boundy had told mothers-to-be: "Please be confident in your natural instinct."

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Boundy, who has since had a second baby, said: "Know your rights as a pregnant woman and use them to be your own advocate.

"I'm not telling people to ignore the advice of medical professionals, simply that they are not magicians, they can make mistakes and they are not in your body.

"If you feel something is wrong, a mistake has been made or you don't feel comfortable with your care, then I beg you to speak up.

"Don't feel silly or that you have no right to disagree with your care, being your own advocate could save both you and your child from disastrous consequences."

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