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Couple Awarded $2.9 Million in Wrongful Birth Lawsuit


28 replies to this topic

#1
Pong Messiah

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Big wrongful birth award:

A jury this afternoon awarded nearly $3 million to a Portland-area couple whose daughter was born with Down syndrome even though a prenatal test found she didn't have the chromosomal abnormality.

[...]

The couple sued Legacy Health, claiming that Deborah Levy would have aborted her pregnancy had she known her daughter had the chromosomal abnormality. The lawsuit blames Legacy's Center for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in North Portland and a Legacy lab for allegedly botching the test.

Interesting case. From what I've read, it sounds like the lab never even tested the fetus, but were instead messing around with the mother's own cells -- all the while assuring the couple that their child wasn't abortion-worthy.

So what do you think? Was three million enough?

:eek:

#2
Evolence

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Honestly, it depends on how long the child ends up living. People with Downs syndrome tend to not live as long as non-afflicted people; however, the couple could be looking at a LOT of years of having to take care of a special needs child. And that takes money my friend.

#3
Brando

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Hopefully her Downs keeps her from ever realizing that her parents wish she was dead.
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#4
Cerina

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I kinda hope this was just a ploy to get money to help raise their daughter. There's no doubt the lab screwed up. I've known quite a few people with Down's, and most of them live nearly normal lives. I, personally, don't think it's fair to abort a fetus because you don't want to put up the extra effort/money to raise a special-needs child. I feel completely differently if genetic testing reveals that the baby will be born with some horrific and fatal disease.

#5
Good God a Bear

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Portland...it figures.

#6
Pong Messiah

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I kinda hope this was just a ploy to get money to help raise their daughter. There's no doubt the lab screwed up. I've known quite a few people with Down's, and most of them live nearly normal lives. I, personally, don't think it's fair to abort a fetus because you don't want to put up the extra effort/money to raise a special-needs child. I feel completely differently if genetic testing reveals that the baby will be born with some horrific and fatal disease.

From what I've read, the couple already had two or three healthy kids and was done reproducing when an accidental pregnancy occurred. They didn't want the baby in the first place, but decided they wouldn't have an abortion if -- if -- the child had no health problems. This was of special concern in this case, because the mother was over thirty, and for some reason (a reason I don't understand) had a much higher chance of having a baby with Down's syndrome than other women in her age group.

If they were already planning to abort, but were convinced not to by the hospital's botched test, I don't see how the hospital wasn't humongously negligent.

:shrug:
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#7
Cerina

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Negligent in the eyes of the law, absolutely. But morally I just think it's really ****ty to want an abortion simply because you don't want to put in the extra effort. :shrug:

I mean really, are they going to look at their child every day now and be thinking "you should be dead, we'd have killed you if the doctor hadn't ****ed it up for us"??

#8
Darth Krawlie

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Morals don't really have anything to do with this, though. I really wish people would stop trying to mix morals with law.
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#9
Brando

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That's why abortion should be legal for the entire lifetime of the patrent. Then you don't have to worry about making a quick decision. Your kid is a screen up at 35,terminate.

#10
Brando

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Morals don't really have anything to do with this, though. I really wish people would stop trying to mix morals with law.


Legally they have the right. Seperately, they have a moral obligation as parents to NOT tell their child on a daily basis that they wish she was dead.

#11
Destiny Skywalker

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We did genetic testing when I was pregnant with Quinn, mostly to prepare ourselves if something was wrong.

How this testing works is they draw your blood and test it for genetic abnormalities. You get your chances of having a child with a genetic defect, and you can decide to do further testing. So if that's what the lab did, they didn't mess up if the results came back as a low chance. But I would hope that an ultrasound would have caught it. At 18-20 weeks they do a big ultrasound that takes around an hour, where they measure a lot of things to make sure your child is developing normally. This is also were they tell you if your kid has a ween, so I'm pretty sure they look for stuff like down's.

#12
Cerina

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I really wish people would stop trying to mix morals with law.


And that's really what's wrong with a lot of the world today. You can't just completely leave morality out of the law. And you can't expect people to check their morals completely at the door. ESPECIALLY on an internet message board where we're legally allowed to express our opinions of the morals involved, regardless of the legality of the situation (which btw, I do believe I stated that I agreed with.) :rolleyes:
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#13
Darth Krawlie

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I think morality is being more and more included in the law and more and more involved in people's points of view, so I don't see how wanting them more separate is a part of what's wrong with the world today. It seems to be going more in the other direction.
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#14
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You're both idiots.
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#15
Darth Krawlie

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That's definitely true.

#16
Brando

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Isn't the law itself a form of morality?
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#17
Darth Krawlie

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Isn't the law itself a form of morality?


I guess it's more emotional driven reactions and emotional driven law making that I object to more.

EDIT: And not even reactions, really, that's just human nature. I'm a pretty passionate guy myself. If I came across as giving Reese **** for that, I didn't mean to.

Edited by Darth Krawlie, 10 March 2012 - 08:49 PM.


#18
Pong Messiah

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The vitriol this couple has received is just amazing to me. 89% percent of couples who learn they have a Down's baby abort it. I'm sure there are more than more than a few self-professed pro-lifers in this group -- and I'm sure some of the people spewing venom at the couple would make make that very same choice when forced to ask themselves the question of "Can I financially, physically, and emotionally afford to take care of a special needs child who will need me until the day he dies? Am I willing to do this?"

Are 89% of all parents really "selfish, murdering pigs"?

Edited by Pong Messiah, 10 March 2012 - 09:05 PM.


#19
Destiny Skywalker

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I think it is a heartbreaking thing that I hope I never face. I am pretty pro-life but I don't hate people who choose to abort because of a genetic defect. I am mostly sad for them.

#20
Cerina

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I'm not really pro-life. I know there are quite a few circumstances in which I would consider an abortion. But I know having Down's is just not one of them, because I've actually been through that. Noah was born perfectly healthy except for his feet, but when they discovered the clubbed feet we were given the option to have an amniocentesis to determine if the clubbed feet were actually a symptom of something larger. I had myself genetically tested to rule out the majority of the really nasty diseases and disorders that probably would have prompted us to abort, but there were still plenty left that could have given us a special needs child who required extra care, time and money. (In fact, he did require extra care, time and money for the first year.) We passed on the amnio because we did not want to abort simply to avoid the hardship, and amnio carries a certain risk to the baby anyway (plus, we'd already used up a bit of luck when I had surgery while pregnant and the baby came out just fine.)

So I know what that feels like, and I, honestly, do not see how I can be part of only 11%. I mean, I don't know exactly how to express this...but the decision to not test to see if we needed to abort was one of the easiest we made during the time. It was the least thought out, most instinctual. Some of you know that when you have a kid even deciding what kind of bottles to buy can be anxiety-ridden (I broke down into a full on crying fit at Babies-R-Us in the bottle aisle, seriously), because there is no right or wrong answer but you feel as though SOMETHING has to be the BEST choice (totally not true, btw). But the decision to accept the possibility of raising a special-needs child? Totally simple. No anxiety. Pure protective instinct. I just don't feel as if 89% or more of parents would come to a different conclusion. I'd like more details about those studies.

#21
Pong Messiah

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So I know what that feels like, and I, honestly, do not see how I can be part of only 11%.

You're not necessarily part of an 11%. Personally, I suspect that parents who test for Down's are a lot more likely to be of the aborty variety, and are taking factors such as the test results into account when choosing whether or not to terminate a pregnancy.

#22
Cerina

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That's a good point.

#23
IMericka

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aborty

this is a fabulous adjective. thank you.
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#24
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In 1978 a child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder was born to alcoholic parents who also had genetic mental retardation which they passed on to their daughter. The little girl was removed from their care and placed in a series of 3 foster homes till, just before her 3rd birthday, she was placed in my parents' home. They cared for her lovingly and got all the help for her they could. Throughout her childhood and adolescence, she was tested several times and always considered "borderline retarded" which qualified her for special schooling and therapy provided by the state. Then in 1996 when she turned 18, another "test" determined that she was fully capable of making her own decisions and living on her own as an adult. That decision meant my parents nor anyone else had a legal right to help her make good choices. In the following years she was pimped by several men, has given birth to 3 boys, 2 of which are severely disabled due to her "adult choice" to drink during her pregnancies. I am raising the 3rd of those little boys - not because I wanted a baby no matter what; I already had given birth to 5 - but because the child needed a home and I was willing to do whatever I could to provide for him. I love my son and would never wish him gone, but it is costing my husband and myself a lot of money to provide him with the care he needs. After seeing this story, I wonder how many people think I should sue the Child and Family Services who made this inaccurate diagnosis so I also can have the wherewithal to pay for the extra cost of raising a child who "should never have been born". Perhaps the parents who took the other 2 children should do the same?
No matter what you think about abortion, surely you can see that once the child is born, suing "wrongful birth" is wrong wrong wrong!!

#25
Ashaman

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Where does one draw the line of what is morally right and wrong though? Is it morally wrong to decide someone that will use resources and such and never add to the human race be, well, put down? Aborted?

This story actually came up in class the other day and the teacher presented the above argument. Heated discussion ensured.



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