Test case for genetic disorder compensation

Date: Feb 01, 2012

The family of a boy born with a rare blood disorder has commenced litigation against the doctors at the fertility clinic they attended while trying to conceive.

According to reports, the parents claim the IVF specialist they were using at the time did not inform them that the father was a carrier of a condition known as antithrombin deficiency that could cause clotting issues.

As a result, their child suffered a massive stroke four days after he was born that has left him entirely dependent on others.

Unable to walk, talk or perform other common tasks, the boy – now 11 years old – is showing all the signs of classic brain damage and his mother and father are seeking $10 million compensation for the lifelong provision of care he is likely to require.

Known as a "wrongful birth" case, this trial centres around the idea that a medical professional has a duty of care to inform patients of procedural risks before they decide on a course of action.

In this case, the parents maintain that they would not have continued with the treatments had they known there was a chance that their child could have been born with a clotting disorder.

The mother and father of the victim are placing their case on the link between the disorder and the clot, saying that if they had been in possession of all the facts they could have made a more informed decision.

If it is the case that the antithrombin deficiency was the direct cause of the stroke and the practitioner was aware of this chance and failed to tell the parents, then this would constitute as a breach of his duty of care.

In that case, a compensation lawyer would be able to render assistance in obtaining the requested sum that would be put to use in looking after the victim – giving his parents some much-needed assistance.

Central to the case is that the doctor in question was aware of the link and that – while he may have mentioned it to them, did not attempt to explain the full impact it could have on their child.

Instead, the court heard that he passed on the contact details of a hospital where a specialist in genetic disorders was resident, but the parents were unable to contact him and their clinician did not follow up their correspondence.

In cases where a patient feels that a medical practitioner did not act in their best interests, a medical negligence lawyer may be able to help them gain access to compensation payments.


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