It is always tragic when a newborn sustains a birth injury or is diagnosed with a birth defect. Depending on the nature and severity of the infant’s condition, parents may incur millions of dollars in costs due to healthcare, mobility aids, medical equipment, and home care before the child has even reached preschool age.
Because the financial burden can be so great, parents are often left searching for any possible way to maintain financial security and help their child live the fullest life possible. Some choose to file medical malpractice claims against the facility or healthcare providers who played a role in the prenatal care or delivery, but not all of these claims have merit. Birth injuries and defects can occur even when deliveries are performed with textbook precision using all accepted standards of care.
“Wrongful birth” is a kind of medical malpractice claim in which parents allege that a healthcare provider should have advised them of their child’s condition long before labor and delivery. In such a case, the claimants are essentially arguing that had they known about the child’s condition prior to birth, they might not have carried the pregnancy to term.
If you are being sued for the wrongful birth of a child, it is essential to start planning your defense immediately. The Florida medical malpractice defense lawyers at Lubell Rosen can evaluate your case from all angles to determine the most effective way to protect your best interests. Call (954) 880-9500 to schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice defense attorney in Florida.
Let’s explore a few possible defenses against wrongful birth claims:
1. The child’s disabilities were not apparent at any stage of the pregnancy.
Many severe disabilities can be detected during pregnancy if the mother follows all recommended aspects of prenatal care. For example, if a fetus is missing one or more limbs, the defect should eventually be obvious in ultrasound images.
Minor birth defects, on the other hand, may not necessarily become apparent during any stage of pregnancy. As long as the mother’s doctors used accepted standards of practice when providing prenatal care, she will not have a valid wrongful birth claim for any unanticipated birth defects or disabilities.
2. The child’s disabilities are not severe enough to warrant legal action.
According to the Civil Liberties Law Review, the severity of a child’s disabilities can affect the validity of a wrongful birth claim. A doctor’s precise obligations regarding informed consent vary from case to case, but in general, healthcare providers are not obligated to discuss or disclose minor potential impairments that the courts do not consider severe.
3. The mother was informed of the child’s condition prior to delivery.
If prenatal tests revealed that the child might be born with some kind of medical condition or disability and you informed the mother of this fact as soon as possible, you have met your obligations regarding informed consent. If you outlined the potential complication in writing and obtained the patient’s signature, it would be difficult for the mother to claim that she was not informed about the potential condition.
Call (954) 880-9500 to Speak with a Medical Malpractice Defense Lawyer in Florida
If you are facing a lawsuit involving the alleged wrongful birth of a child, turn to the strategic medical malpractice defense attorneys at Lubell Rosen. Call (954) 880-9500 or fill out our Contact Form to start building your defense.