As discussed in the previous post, a genetics laboratory is facing a wrongful birth lawsuit from a set of parents who claim that negligence on the part of the company caused them great harm. After the parents found out they would have a child, they decided to have the fetus genetically tested to find out whether it would develop a painful disease after birth. If the parents found that the child would have Cooley’s anemia, for which they were both carriers, they would terminate the pregnancy.
After two rounds of testing, a genetics laboratory concluded that the fetus was only a carrier of the disease and would not be afflicted with the disease. The couple went ahead with the pregnancy and gave birth to a girl in August 2009. Soon after giving birth, the couple found out that the genetics laboratory’s diagnosis was wrong because doctors told the couple that their new baby did in fact have Cooley’s anemia.
The baby girl underwent her first painful blood transfusion at one month of age. The only chance of saving her life is to have her undergo a bone marrow transplant, which is painful and risky. Chemotherapy must precede the transplant and the child will likely be left infertile.
The parents claim in their wrongful birth lawsuit against the genetics lab that negligence on the part of the company led to the false test results. The wrongful birth suit is being brought by both parents because the aftermath of the incorrect information has caused the father as much as the mother anguish through watching the child suffer and knowing the child may die. Both parents have also shared in the financial hardship of treating their daughter’s condition.
Source: Courthouse News Service, “LabCorp Still on the Hook for Wrongful Birth Claim,” Rose Bouboushian, Nov. 18, 2011