You’ve heard of wrongful death: What about wrongful birth?

Couples might visit a doctor or geneticist to determine if it’s safe for them to have a child. These couples may be concerned, for example, that their child will have a birth defect or serious ailment as a result of the genetic makeup of the parents.

If a doctor or geneticist provides negligent genetic counseling to prospective parents — and based on that counseling the parents decide to have a baby that ends up being born with a birth defect — the conditions for a “wrongful birth” lawsuit may be present.

Examples of wrongful birth: Does one of these situations apply to you?

Doctors must inform patients of the known risks and known complications that relate to their pregnancies. Neglecting to inform patients of these risks could result in a birth defect or other problems during pregnancy. In turn, patients who suffer from this kind of negligence might be able to hold the doctor financially liable.

Here are some examples of wrongful birth claims caused by doctor negligence:

  • Imagine a doctor fails to diagnose a newly pregnant woman who has German measles. The mother with German measles who moves forward with her pregnancy could end up having a baby with birth defects relating to heart malformations, eye problems and deafness.
  • Imagine two parents who have medical conditions are concerned that if they have a baby, their baby could suffer from serious medical conditions as well. However, a doctor negligently tells them that there’s no chance their baby will be born with any problems. In the end, they give birth to a baby with numerous life-challenging birth defects.
  • Imagine a baby has a serious birth defect, and doctors should have detected the defect early enough, so the mother could terminate the pregnancy. However, doctors failed to detect the condition and the baby ends up having numerous birth injuries.

Do you have a potential wrongful birth lawsuit?

Parents of children born with birth defects will have enormous, lifelong medical expenses that they’ll be responsible to pay. As such, these parents may want to evaluate closely whether any doctors or medical facilities are financially liable for the birth problems their child has suffered. Among the different legal strategies available to parents, a wrongful birth lawsuit could be one avenue to seek much-needed financial support.