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Court allows wrongful birth case to proceed

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Many potential birth defects and serious genetic disorders can now be diagnosed relatively soon after conception. In the case of some genetic problems tests may even reveal a serious potential risk simply by testing the potential parents before a pregnancy has even begun.

Knowledge of these serious medical issues allows patients and their doctors to better understand when a pregnancy may be a high risk and require special care. Or in cases of more serious disorders whether a pregnancy should even be attempted or continued. When a doctor fails to inform a patient of sever genetic defects when the doctor was or should have been aware of the risk the family may bring a wrongful birth lawsuit.

This recent case involved an infant born in 2007. The infant was born with a severe viral infection that, according to the complaint, renders the child completely and permanently helpless. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the family could bring a lawsuit seeking to cover the substantial additional cost required to raise a child requiring full time care. The family has filed a lawsuit saying that the doctor filed to diagnose a Cytomegalovirus infection.

Pregnancy, just like all situations involving medical care, requires doctors to identify and diagnose potential risks and dangers. Having all of this information is of vital importance when making decisions about what course of action is most appropriate. When this type if information is not properly disclosed by the doctor, patients are left to suffer the consequences of the doctor’s negligence.

Source: KOCO News “Okla. High Court Rules In ‘Wrongful Birth’ Case” July, 7, 2011

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