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Doctor, hospital negligent in "wrongful birth"

Many tests are done on pregnant women in order to check the health and genetic state of a baby throughout a pregnancy. Florida parents may already be anxious over the course of a pregnancy, but many say that as long as a baby is healthy, they are happy. However, when a doctor is negligent in informing a couple about the results of these tests and the status of the baby, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be filed.

A couple recently filed a lawsuit against a hospital for the negligence exhibited by a doctor and support staff. According to the suit, the parties failed five times to notify the parents that their child may have Down syndrome. Calling it a "wrongful birth", the parents say that the child would never have been born had they been properly informed.

The couple discovered the genetic condition about a week after their daughter was born. They were stunned to learn that, despite all the tests done during the pregnancy, they were not informed earlier. After looking more into the reporting and testing done, a jury agreed and found that there were five occasions when the doctor or medical staff was negligent.

First, a chromosomal profile test was analyzed incorrectly. The doctor then tested sample tissue weeks later and said everything was normal. Neither the doctor nor any staff members noticed that the doctor had sampled the wrong tissue. Finally, following the birth of the baby girl, the doctors were careless in their reporting, performance and analysis of the baby's test results.

A judge awarded the parents a total of $2.9 million to cover some of the additional costs that may be associated with raising their daughter. Although the subject may polarize some groups, it is important to remember that the doctors were negligent throughout this woman's pregnancy. That kind of negligence should not be ignored or glossed over. Any person who is injured or significantly affected by a careless doctor or hospital has the right to hold that party responsible.

Source: NY Daily News, "Parents awarded $2.9M in 'wrongful birth' lawsuit over daughter born with Down syndrome," Meena Hart Duerson, March 11, 2012

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