Apr 17, 2018
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Financial damages high when misdiagnosis leads to wrongful birth

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Many people in Arizona put a great deal of thought into the decision to have a baby, and medical information sometimes plays an important role in this decision. The term “wrongful birth” describes a birth that parents would not have wanted if they had received accurate medical information. Legal liability to pay for long-term care related to birth defects could emerge if a physician fails to fulfill the duty to educate parents about a pregnancy’s risks and complications.

A wrongful birth scenario could involve a negligent physician who does not notice that a pregnant woman has rubella during her first trimester. This disease causes congenital rubella syndrome and results in babies with eye problems, deafness or heart defects. Another form of negligence could occur if a physician fails to inform parents about their genetic profile that could produce severe birth defects if they have a child. In both situations, accurate diagnoses from physicians could have allowed parents to avoid potentially lifelong financial and emotional hardship by terminating a pregnancy or choosing not to conceive.

In cases like these, parents might file a wrongful birth lawsuit based on physician negligence. When medical malpractice is shown to have caused the negative outcome, the parents might receive compensation for special education, continual medical care and emotional distress. In addition to the concept of wrongful birth, a wrongful life lawsuit might pursue damages for a child living with severe birth defects.

A person confronted by a difficult situation after the birth of a child may wish to consult an attorney. Legal support may help a family caring for someone with birth defects navigate the legal system. Medical malpractice cases must satisfy high legal standards, and an attorney familiar with litigating cases of pregnancy-related injuries may be able to seek testimony from an independent physician.



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