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  1. #21
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    In years past, it was a necessary part of wrongful births lawsuits for parents to have to say they would have aborted the baby if they had known. That was a necessary precondition for a wrongful birth lawsuit to proceed. It often wasn't true, but if parents said otherwise, they didn't meet the requirements for a lawsuit.

    So maybe the parents are simply saying it for legal purposes. And also to be fair, I *think* this lawsuit started prior to ACA being passed, so finances may have been more of an issue--I don't know.

    One thing that struck me, though, was the parents' contention that they didn't know if they could afford supportive services while the child attended school. But that would be granted by a school as part of an IEP. I wondered if they weren't trying to put the child in private school instead. That wouldn't necessarily be covered by public schools or health insurance. Course, it's not immediately obvious why the child would need private schooling in the first place.

    On the topic of similar lawsuits, I remember one from many years ago where a couple gave birth to a preemie, and because of the fragile condition of the baby, signed a DNR order. The hospital was Catholic and overrode the parents DNR order and kept the preemie alive. The baby did survive, but with profound disabilities (the child will never progress beyond a 3-month old).

    Anyhow, I thought the parents were in the right on that one because the hospital basically dumped the parents once the baby got bigger, and they had no means to care for the child. The mother had to quit her career to stay home with the baby, and the little girl will require lifetime care. I know the parents did win that lawsuit against the hospital.

  2. #22
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    I would think that they perform the test so that they could act on it if it's indicative of Down. By acting on it I mean termination.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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  3. #23
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    True--good point.

    Think I'll go hug my disabled son now.....

  4. #24

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    I believe some states wanted to pass, or perhaps did pass, a law allowing medical providers to lie about the result of pre-natal testing if they thought the actual results would lead parents to abort. This doesn't seem to be the case here, but I thought to mention it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    I believe some states wanted to pass, or perhaps did pass, a law allowing medical providers to lie about the result of pre-natal testing if they thought the actual results would lead parents to abort. This doesn't seem to be the case here, but I thought to mention it.
    I've heard something about that but I didn't think it passed. Or did it? Was in OK?
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    Seriously. Having a mass of cells tested and understanding that caring for a Downs Symdrome child can be extremely expensive, I wouldn't blame anyone who aborted a fetus who tested positive.

    But to have that child born, to know that child as your own for four years, to learn of her personality...and then to say they would have had her aborted had they known she wasn't perfect. That's a whole other level.
    I agree with both statements.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    I believe some states wanted to pass, or perhaps did pass, a law allowing medical providers to lie about the result of pre-natal testing if they thought the actual results would lead parents to abort. This doesn't seem to be the case here, but I thought to mention it.
    I was trying to find a link for that when this thread started.

    Seriously. Having a mass of cells tested and understanding that caring for a Downs Symdrome child can be extremely expensive, I wouldn't blame anyone who aborted a fetus who tested positive.

    But to have that child born, to know that child as your own for four years, to learn of her personality...and then to say they would have had her aborted had they known she wasn't perfect. That's a whole other level.
    I don't see the difference at all. As agalisgv said, the parents probably HAVE to say this as part of the lawsuit. I'm sure they aren't thrilled about saying it publicly, even if it's true. But I don't see how it could be ok to choose abortion before the fact, but not ok to express after the fact that a different choice would have been made if they had known what was in store. They're not saying they don't love their daughter, or that they're trying to get out of caring for her.

    As to the lawsuit itself, if the test was negative and there was no provable negligence in the test, the lawsuit is ridiculous and should be thrown out.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    I've heard something about that but I didn't think it passed. Or did it? Was in OK?
    Or given the latest insanities in government here in VA...

    I also remember seeing something about such legislation but cannot remember where either. It resonated because of (see previous sentence).
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  9. #29
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    Actually, such a bill just passed the AZ senate.
    The Arizona Senate passed a bill Tuesday that will prohibit medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors who withhold information from a woman that could cause her to have an abortion.

    The "wrongful birth, wrongful life" lawsuit legislation passed the Republican-controlled Senate 20-9 Tuesday, setting up a coming battle in the GOP-dominated state House of Representatives.

    Sen. Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix) told the Claims Journal that she sponsored the law because she did not want claimants to blame a doctor for a baby born with disabilities. Under the provisions of her bill, a doctor could not face a medical malpractice suit if the doctor withholds information from a mother about health issues facing a child that could cause her to have an abortion. In addition, a lawsuit could not be filed on the child's behalf regarding a disability.

    The suits and laws have been deemed "wrongful birth" and "wrongful life."

    Barto's legislation will allow for medical malpractice suits in the event for "intentional or grossly negligent" acts and for any acts that violate criminal law. Barto proposed the legislation after it was proposed by the conservative Center for Arizona Policy.

    ...Kansas lawmakers are currently debating a measure that would allow doctors to withhold information from a mother in order to prevent an abortion and not face a malpractice suit.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...17.html?ref=tw

    In KS:
    House Bill 2598 would, among other things:

    * Exempt doctors from malpractice suits for withholding information to prevent an abortion
    * Eliminate tax credits for abortion providers
    * Eliminate tax deductions for the purchase of abortion-related health insurance
    * Require women be told about scientifically questionable link between abortion and breast cancer
    * Require women to hear the fetal heartbeat before a procedure

    The bill frees a doctor from a malpractice lawsuit if the woman claims the physician withheld information about birth defects in order to prevent an abortion. Also, a woman cannot sue for pregnancy-related health problems that result from medical information being withheld.

    Another provision in the 69-page bill bans state employees from performing abortions. This would impact residents at the University of Kansas Medical Center, as they are the only state employees who perform abortions.
    http://articles.kwch.com/2012-03-08/...-bill_31137979

  10. #30

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    If I was child-bearing age, there is no way I would live in Arizona or Kansas. Young women there should be leaving both states in droves.

  11. #31

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    Apparently it's been passed in Oklahoma That is wrong on so many levels. Put aside the abortion issue. This is wrong no matter what you think of abortions.

    When women are told that there are no abnormalities detected, they won't know if that's true. Imagine the anxiety for an expectant mother.

    Parents wouldn't be able to prepare themselves to raise a special needs child. If they know ahead of time, they can become educated about the condition, research services that can help relieve the financial burden, buy special car seats or cribs, reach out to parents of children with the same condition, etc.

    It breaks the trust between patient and doctor. If I can't trust the doctor to tell me the truth about this, what else are they lying about?

    It's fraud. These tests are expensive, and women pay for them so they can know the truth.

    Some conditions don't yield themselves to regular labor. What if a woman thinks everything is normal and hires a mid-wife or a doctor without experience doing that kind of labor? The Kansas law prevents women from suing if they suffer injuries related to labor.

    These bills would even allow a doctor to withhold a cancer diagnosis. Pregnant women who are diagnosed with cancer have to make the unthinkable choice to either abort so they can start chemotherapy treatment immediately or wait until they give birth, at which point it may be too late.

    Last edited by Gazpacho; 03-09-2012 at 11:09 PM.

  12. #32
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    1:1000 and 1:50 means nothing unless you are that :1:

  13. #33

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    That would be pretty horrifying if a woman wasn't told of a cancer because her nanny of a doctor didn't want her to have an abortion!

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    I find that creepy and totally unethical. Doctors are NOT supposed to withhold information from their patients!! (right? Sorry, not up to speed on medical ethics--but instinctively that just seems wrong.)

    Then again, if only we Americans didn't expect everything to be peachy perfect all the time. As agalisgv said, life isn't a happy meal at McDonald's. Sometimes life is really difficult. Part of living in an imperfect world.

  15. #35

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    Jury just awarded $2.9 million.

    I think Arthur Caplan's take on it is about perfect:
    http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/20...-down-syndrome

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    Jury just awarded $2.9 million.

    I think Arthur Caplan's take on it is about perfect:
    http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/20...-down-syndrome
    So they decided that the lab *did* in fact botch the test? Not that this was just one of the very very small false negatives?
    Story: Jury ruled the drs were negligent
    Story that had been posted before is now updated
    Jurors said they found Legacy Health negligent on five fronts, including that the doctor who performed the prenatal test took too small of a sample from Levy's womb to be useful. They concluded that employees -- including the doctor who took the sample and lab workers who analyzed it -- failed to communicate, leading to the erroneous result.

  17. #37

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    Has anyone read Jodi Picoult's Handle with Care.

    I find her books interesting because she takes an issue, and looks at it from the POV of the various people involved.
    Handle With Care explores the knotty tangle of medical ethics and personal morality. When faced with the reality of a fetus who will be disabled, at which point should an OB counsel termination? Should a parent have the right to make that choice? How disabled is TOO disabled? And as a parent, how far would you go to take care of someone you love? Would you alienate the rest of your family? Would you be willing to lie to your friends, to your spouse, to a court? And perhaps most difficult of all – would you admit to yourself that you might not actually be lying?
    It is so odd to me that a jury assigned "fault" here...........but I didn't hear the case, so. There are simply no guarantees. And at the way other end of the spectrum we have a jury unwilling to assign "fault" in the Caylee Anthony murder.

    Back to the topic..........does this then allow anyone to sue for anything that did or did not show up on the ultra sound? What if it shows up that there was a problem, they did an abortion, but the baby would have been fine?

    This is dumb, but they kept telling my daughter her baby had "the longest leg bones"...and he is a shrimp. Definitely no long legs there. Well, leg length is not important LOL, but.....
    DH - and that's just my opinion

  18. #38

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    Interesting verdict. I guess they concluded that it was due to negligence on the part of the lab, not because of a fluke false negative.

    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    I think Arthur Caplan's take on it is about perfect:
    http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/20...-down-syndrome
    Thanks for the article. It's that in order for parents to receive compensation, they have to assert that they would have aborted the child. As Caplan says, it makes logical and legal sense but not moral sense.

    That makes it harder for me to agree with this comment:
    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    "*The couple say that they dearly love their daughter, who is now four, but ...
    *The couple state that they would have aborted if they'd received the correct diagnosis"

    This does not sound like 'love' to me.
    Last edited by Gazpacho; 03-10-2012 at 02:43 AM.

  19. #39
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    I worked in a home office for several years with clients who had a Down Syndrome child.

    It was very difficult to concentrate on getting my own work done when their handicapped little boy was the centre of the family dynamic.

    I don't think a day went by without tears, screaming, or some kind of drama.

    I am not suggesting what either party should do here, but raising children with disabilities is a stressful, demanding, full time job, and in Australia especially, it is not uncommon to see elderly parents still struggling to look after 50 - something children.

  20. #40
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    Afaik, down syndrome screening is not done solely on ultrasound - the first screening is an ultrasound + a bloodtest, and if that is positive (it has a margin for false positives) you can opt for a more invasive procedure, I would expect this is what they sued about, given it was about the size of the womb sample.

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