People often talk about wrongful death actions, but they don’t always bring up wrongful birth claims. A wrongful birth action is a claim that parents can make if their child is born with birth defects as a result of advice given by or the negligence of a medical professional. The parents can attest that they would have avoided conceiving completely or terminated the pregnancy prior to their child’s birth.
Medical providers have a responsibility and duty to inform their patients about any known complications or risks that they may face during their pregnancies. If they do not do this, then they could face a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If a provider knows the risks, they should inform their patients
When a medical provider knows that there is a high risk of a disease, birth defect or condition, they should inform the parents as soon as possible. That way, the parents have an opportunity to make a decision regarding the birth of their child. In the case that a couple hasn’t yet conceived, any knowledge about the genetic risk of disease they have should be discussed in advance. That way, they can decide if conceiving is the right option and a risk they want to take.
Failing to discuss this information can lead to wrongful birth actions, because children may be born with defects that the medical provider knew were a possibility but that the parents did not. For example, if the medical provider had tests showing that both parents carried the genes for a serious disease and the child was later born with it, the parents would have every right to pursue a claim.
If your child has been born with a birth defect or illness because you were not properly informed of the risks, it’s important to look into your legal options.