Wrongful Birth Lawyer
What is wrongful birth? When should I talk to a wrongful birth lawyer? Learn more about this kind of situation and when to talk to a lawyer about your options in this article. Information in this article is based on New Jersey laws only.
What Is Wrongful Birth?
Wrongful birth, or “wrongful life”, occurs when a baby is born with lifelong defects that went undetected by a medical professional. It removes the right of the parent to decide the best way to proceed. Instead, health providers fail to detect or inform a parent of the health problem. Parents end up with a baby they thought would be healthy but requires lifelong special care. The first case in the United States was Jacobs v. Theimer, 519 S.W.2d 846 (Tex. 1975).
Failure To Diagnose
The first wrongful birth lawsuit involved a pregnant mother and a doctor that failed to diagnose an illness. Dortha Jean Jacobs was pregnant and had rubella. The baby was born with defects due to the mother not being properly diagnosed with rubella. Had Ms. Jacobs known of the effect rubella would have on her baby, she would have explored her options.
Wrongful birth removes a mother’s right to make a decision to end the pregnancy or go forward with delivery knowing the risks.
A Deeper Look into Wrongful Birth
It is the responsibility of the medical provider to ensure the safety of the pregnant woman and her unborn child. When a doctor’s care does not follow the standard of care, this is medical malpractice.
Medical providers are responsible to provide the correct information for the full duration of pregnancy. Parents deserve to know when there is any suspicion the baby won’t be healthy. At the least, a doctor should recommend proper testing and screenings.
Parents deserve to know the facts of their unborn child so they can make informed decisions. Sometimes, this means a difficult decision. But, it is the decision of the parents, not the doctor.
Genetic abnormalities aren’t always detectable. And, a medical laboratory can make a mistake. Or a provider might not perform adequate testing. This can cause lifelong defects in the child and be excruciating for both child and parents. Additionally, lifelong care required is quite costly.
Proving Wrongful Birth
There are several health conditions that might warrant a wrongful birth claim:
- Myotubular Myopathy
- Down Syndrome
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Spina Bifida
- Sickle Cell Anemia
These conditions are considered birth defects or abnormalities. But, not every birth defect or abnormality qualifies for a lawsuit. If you have any questions, it’s best to talk to a lawyer. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can explain how the law applies to your situation.
3 Facts Of A Wrongful Birth Lawsuit
Typical wrongful birth lawsuits hinge on one of three things:
Failure To Diagnose
The treating doctor failed to diagnose a serious medical condition with the fetus. The condition was obvious or should have been obvious.
Failure To Warn
The doctor diagnoses a serious medical problem. But, the doctor does not inform the patient of the risk or condition.
Denial Of Informed Decision
By failing to diagnose or warn, the doctor denies the parent(s) the ability to make an educated decision. This part of the lawsuit is closely connected to one of the first two.
Compensation For Wrongful Birth
Lawsuits aren’t about getting rich from an unfortunate circumstance. It’s about having the money your family needs to provide the proper care for a child with special needs. Usually, these cases generate millions of dollars. But, this money is necessary for proper lifelong care.
You deserve compensation to afford the lifelong care your child needs. We are here to help you in this difficult time and will guide you through the legal process.
When To Talk To A Wrongful Birth Attorney
Wrongful birth is a sensitive situation. You’ll want to talk to a lawyer who is understanding and sensitive to your situation. No one wants judgment. If you or a loved one delivers a child with serious defects without warning, call today.
The attorneys at Kane & Silverman provide free and confidential consultations. You never pay us anything unless we recover money for your case.