Birth Injury Lawyers: Why Neonatal Testing Should Be Mandatory

In March of 2008, National Public Radio ran an interview with Elizabeth Weil about her New York Times Magazine story “A Wrongful Birth?.” The interview and article surround the story of a family who received substandard , prenatal care from their obstetrician, which ultimately led to birth injuries and defects.

Physician Negligence Leads to Substantial Verdict

Their son AJ was born with an easily detectable, yet extremely rare condition, which will lessen his life expectancy and leave him mentally and physically challenged throughout his shortened lifetime. The family sued their doctor, who should have made them aware of the condition before the third trimester (once abortion is not longer an option), and was awarded by a New York State Court the money to care for the child for his lifetime. While the award was a substantial sum of money, the costs for raising such a disabled child for his lifetime will be substantial as well. Consequently, New York does not legislatively allow the awarding of damages to the parents for the trauma resulting from such malpractice.

Weil’s article and interview are very interesting and educational. Unfortunately, she jumps over the most important issue in all of this. At one point, she writes,

“The ethics of selective abortion are being hashed out in the courts.”

Earlier, in her interview, she also explains that the parents of the child started the malpractice lawsuit, because they felt that,

“they were deprived of that choice”

to terminate pregnancy. The issue in these cases is not whether the courts are hashing out our national ethics. If anything, it would be the politicians who have carved out our ethics for us. From abortion to drugs, the politicians decide what is OK and what is not OK. Here, the politicians have decided that we all have the right to a choice. They have not decided whether or not it is OK to terminate a pregnancy based on whether or not the child is blind, or deaf, or retarded, or disabled. None of this is decided for us. The courts have not hashed this out for us. The point is whether or not we get to make these decisions for ourselves. We pay doctors for a particular type of care and if it is not received – depriving us of the choices we are guaranteed in this country – than this is malpractice.

What people choose to do with the information given to them by their doctor is their choice. There is no place for ethics in a debate about whether or not doctors should have any control over neonatal testing, because this type of medical malpractice can lead to the sickness and death of our children.

Birth Injury Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadephia

If your child was born with irreversible damages caused by negligence of a physician, you may have a claim for damages. For more information, please go to the New Jersey Medical Malpractice Attorneys page. You may also contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

8 Million Children Are Born With A Serious Birth Defect Each Year Says March of Dimes

The March of Dimes website has released the findings of their international research department’s study of world wide birth defects. The official report includes staggering statistics, explaining that, “Every year an estimated 8 million children — about 6 percent of total births worldwide — are born with a serious birth defect of genetic or partially genetic origin…” While the official numbers appear to be lower in higher income nations, this percentage is unnerving when considered in the context of our health care system.

In our nation of freedom, we should be able to not only prevent these birth defects by way of higher quality screenings during pregnancy, but also prevent bringing a child into this world in such horrible circumstances. Parents must be able to prevent wrongful births and should be given the option to do so by physicians who do not interject their moral or religious positions upon their patients. The law in this nation stands as pro-choice. Just as pregnant women can choose to terminate pregnancy for a plethora of reasons, so should parents be able to prevent their birthing of a baby who may be born with a terminal illness.

The article from the March of Dimes includes a quote from one of the researchers: “The human toll of birth defects is even greater when one considers the impact of lifelong disability on children, their families, and society,” says Michael Katz, M.D., senior vice president for Research and Global Programs at the March of Dimes. If more doctors took a position that excluded their personal opinion and included an objective, professional opinion, then they would likely come to a similar conclusion as Dr. Katz. While Katz’s international research portrays a more worldly understanding of these issues, it is inexcusable for a nation such as ours – one with such good medicine and such freedoms – to do so little to prevent these birth defects and wrongful births.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by medical malpractice, you may have a claim for damages. For more information, please go to the New Jersey Medical Malpractice Attorneys page.

John R.Mininno, Esq. is a New Jersey and Pennsylvania trial lawyer representing clients in medical malpractice, defective products and other serious injury claims. He also writes about issues concerning patient safety. His offices are in Collingswood, NJ and Philadelphia, PA.