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Failure to Conduct Genetic Testing

Baltimore Lawyers Helping Families Harmed by Careless Physicians

Scientific advances allow doctors to conduct extensive tests to determine if a fetus has a genetic condition that may result in issues or difficulties after birth. Genetic testing enables parents to make informed decisions regarding their future. As such, when doctors ignore signs that such testing may be beneficial and fail to conduct genetic testing, children may unexpectedly be born with congenital disabilities. If you suffered harm due to a physician's inadequate prenatal testing, you have the right to pursue damages, and you should confer with an attorney to assess your options. The assertive Baltimore birth injury lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are mindful of the emotional and legal complexities of lawsuits arising out of a doctor's failure to conduct genetic testing, and if you hire us, we will fight to help you strive for a favorable outcome.

Damages Caused by the Failure to Conduct Genetic Testing

Genetic testing is often indicated when one or both expectant parents carry a gene that can lead to a hereditary condition, like cystic fibrosis, Tay Sachs disease, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia major, and Canavan disease. Genetic testing may also be offered when certain risk factors are present, like advanced maternal age, which increases the risk of down syndrome, or a family history of neural tube defects which leads to a greater likelihood of spina bifida. In some instances, physical abnormalities noted during an anatomy scan may trigger a doctor to conduct genetic testing. In many cases, though, genetic testing is routinely offered despite any indication of a congenital defect. When genetic testing is not conducted, birth defects often go unnoticed until the child is born.

Failure to Conduct Genetic Testing as Grounds for a Medical Malpractice Claim

When genetic testing indicates a child has a genetic disorder, parents have the opportunity to evaluate whether they wish to proceed with the pregnancy. Thus, the failure to conduct genetic testing deprives parents of the ability to make reasoned choices about the pregnancy and their future. Genetic birth defects often require costly lifelong care, and parents may be able to pursue wrongful birth claims against the physician that declined to perform appropriate genetic tests that would have identified the defect prior to birth.

In Maryland, a wrongful birth claim is similar to other medical malpractice claims in that the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to comply with the relevant standard of care. In other words, the defendant was required to treat the mother and fetus in the manner a competent doctor working in the same practice area would when presented with a similar scenario. The plaintiff must also prove that the defendant's failure to conduct genetic testing demonstrates a departure from the standard of care. In the majority of wrongful birth cases, a plaintiff must retain a medical expert to testify regarding the applicable standard and the ways in which the defendant failed to abide by the obligations imposed by the standard.

Finally, the plaintiff has to prove that it would not have continued the pregnancy if the defendant had complied with the standard of care and genetic testing revealed that the child suffered a birth defect. Plaintiffs in wrongful birth cases may recover compensation for the costs of caring for and raising the child, which typically consists of medical care, including physical and occupational therapy, nursing care, and costs associated with additional educational needs.

Meet With a Knowledgeable Baltimore Attorney

Genetic testing can provide insight into the health of an unborn child and allow parents to explore their options prior to the child's birth, but the failure to conduct genetic testing can lead to irreparable harm. If your doctor failed to conduct genetic testing and your child was born with a birth defect, you may be owed compensation, and it is advisable to meet with an attorney to evaluate your possible causes of action. The knowledgeable Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are adept at navigating the complexities of birth injury cases, and if you engage our services, we will zealously pursue the best outcome possible in your case. We have an office in Baltimore where we regularly assist parties harmed by birth injuries in the pursuit of damages. You can reach us via our form online or at (410) 889-1850 to schedule a consultation.