Wrongful Birth: A Medical Malpractice Claim
Advances in technology now allow doctors to observe the development of a fetus in the womb in detail. If the doctor’s negligence or lack of proper, required care leads to the birth of a child with disabilities, that the parents would have chosen to abort had they known, the parents can file a wrongful birth claim against the doctor. The alleged negligence can be based on the failure to recommend, administer or interpret needed genetic (or other) tests or failure to properly advise the parents about test results. One of the first wrongful birth claim was filed by a woman in Texas who gave birth to a child with disabilities after the doctors did not tell her that she had rubella (when was pregnant), which is known to cause serious birth defects.
A wrongful birth claim’s premise is that due to the doctor or technician’s negligence the parents have to endure the harm caused to them by their child’s impairment. Like mentioned before, the doctor is sued for his/her negligence because it is believed that the parents were deprived of the choice to terminate the pregnancy. Parents who succeed in such cases are entitled to only monetary damages to cover the lifetime costs of raising their disabled child; emotional damages are usually not awarded.
Prenatal diagnosis of possible birth defects is mostly done through prenatal testing which is highly recommended by doctors in the US. Prenatal testing can help detect many chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome, thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis and other heart, brain or limb defects. Some disabilities or chromosomal defects are genetic and can be easily detected through carrier blood screening. Carrier blood screening can help determine the exact probability of how many children can be the carrier of the defective gene. Other kinds of tests include blood tests and ultrasounds of the mother at certain times of the pregnancy. Although not all tests are mandatory by law, it is the duty of the medical practitioner in charge to recommend all tests to the parents.
Substandard medical care can deprive parents of a fundamental choice and can lead to a lifetime of emotional distress and substantial medical costs for the whole family. If you think you or a loved one has been deprived of that choice by your doctor or ultrasound technician, it is highly recommended that you contact a medical negligence attorney in Dallas. Due to the complicated nature of these types of cases, it is important that you have a medical negligence attorney by your side who has your best interests in mind and understands how to navigate the legal system. At Rad Law Firm, we advocate for people who have experienced pain, suffering, or loss because of medical malpractice or negligence, so call us today for a review of your wrongful birth claim.