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Judge allows parents to pursue medical malpractice lawsuit

Doctors in New York City and beyond have a duty to provide their patients with important information regarding their health and the health of their unborn child. By withholding information or failing to perform proper tests, a family cannot make appropriate medical decisions.

A couple in another state whose daughter was born with cystic fibrosis has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a number of health care providers for failing to provide adequate testing to determine if their unborn child had the debilitating disease. A judge recently ruled that the couple can continue forward with their lawsuit.

The couple says that their pregnancy was unplanned, and after discussing it together, they determined that they would terminate their pregnancy if their child tested positive for genetic disorders. However, the couple says a nurse did not ask them whether or not they wanted to have blood samples taken to determine if their child was at a greater risk of being born with cystic fibrosis. In addition, the nurse did not test for cystic fibrosis when the mother underwent genetic testing during her first trimester.

A state judge overseeing the case agreed that the couple could move forward with their lawsuit because of the health care provider's negligence. By not performing the proper tests, the mother was unable to make an intelligent decision about her pregnancy.

The couple is seeking damages to cover their daughter's medical costs as well as for the emotional distress they have endured. They also want to require that a checklist be created so that patients can be informed of all of the testing options available to them. The checklist would allow parents to accept or decline any of the testing in writing.

Source: greatfallstribune.com, "Judge OKs 'wrongful birth' lawsuit," June 22, 2012

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