| March 13, 2006
The NY Times talks about “wrongful-birth” cases.
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The only remedy available for prenatally diagnosed conditions is the abortion; guaranteed by the supreme court.
It seems logical that the specific remedy most likely to satisfy all parties would be to terminate the unwanted life. Perhaps the wronged parents could put the child up for adoption.
To keep the child while simultaneously arguing in court that they would have aborted it if only they had known the condition seems a bit schizophrenic. If you so badly did not want the child, why hang on now.
A very sad story. That stated the info from the story was not cut and dried. Amniocentesis has it’s own risks (I remember the statistic of 1:200 miscarriages in med school, maybe it is wrong). Also the family was angry that the family OB/Gyn never called to apologize. Since the baby was born out of state I wonder if the OB/Gyn ever got the information. Thanks for reminding me once again why I chose against Ob/Gyn in med school even though I loved the rotation during third year. With the fall off in people going into OB/Gyn I wonder who will deliver high-risk cases 20 years from now?
“I wonder who will deliver high-risk cases 20 years from now?”
I hope no one…let these people get what they deserve…no medical care and no one to sue. I can’t wait for the day…
Less than 2/3 of OB/GYN residency slots were filled last year. The percentage has actually declined for three consecutive years now. Anecdotally, in my own town I can tell you that in 1998 there were 14 practicing OB’s on staff at the county hospital; last year there were 8. Two kept a gynecology practice but stopped deliveries, three were family docs who dropped it as well, and one went to a nearby state.
It hasn’t reached a crisis point (yet) but in a more rural area of my state the only avaiable care within sometimes a 50-mile radius for medicaid patients is nurse midwifery.
I too wonder who will be around in eight or ten years to deliver babies, especially high risk ones.
Who will still be stupid enough to go into OB-GYN? Some foreign grads who can skip the country when the sodomites come a knockin’. Anyone who does 9 years of training to do such a raped specialty really deserves free psychiatric care. Who can have respect for a woman (most ob’s are women) whose made such a stupid career decision?
When I was in residency in the not so distant past I had no clue regarding sodomites/litigious patients. I lived in an academic bubble…I think that’s still the case now…when I have patients admitted to the hospital the residents have no idea how to do defensive medicine; all they care about is discharging the patient and decreasing their census. If they knew what I know, they would keep every patient there until every consult in the hospital was called (whic is what I tell them to do!) I think that is why people go into OB-they are still idealistic at that point; hopefully the word will get out to these trainees so they don’t make a big mistake before it’s too late to change.
gasman, your comments to kevin’s posts are excellent, but here you’re off base. (I’m watching Venezuela vs. Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic now.)
“Wrongful birth actions typically arise when, due to negligent genetic counselling or a misdiagnosis about the condition of a fetus, an infant is born with a severe medical disability. In these cases, the plaintiffs are not suing due to an unwanted pregnancy, as in the wrongful conception context; rather, they are suing because of the loss of their ability to make an informed decision about whether to procreate, or whether to carry a potentially impaired child to term.” (Understanding Torts, Diamond et.al., 2000)
Thus the issue is about whether negligent care deprived choice.
If a physician practicing OB did not practice to a minimum standard of care, and that deprived the mother or parents of legitimate choice, I don’t see why there should not be liability.
“loss of their ability to make an informed decision about whether to procreate”
Maybe because the system shouldn’t have to pay for every baby born with a bad outcome. Maybe because there’s a problem that when someone young has a bad outcome, someone in the medical field HAS to pay the price.
I love it. Next thing you know is we’ll be getting sued by the undesiring parents if Plan B contraception doesn’t work (In my hospital, Plan B is often Plan A for many of our frequent fliers)
What about accountability and responsibility? If an OB/GYN says s/he will do a test and misreads it, do you doctors think that doctor should not be responsible in any way? Shouldn’t they pay for their error? That’s what every other business does–why is medicine different?
you get sued for multi-millions of dollars for your error? What business are you in? What a jag-off…
Anonymous, I think you should spend some time on Shrinkette’s blog. You are in need of some counseling.
Most people, and lawyers, don’t understand that prenatal testing-like all medical testing- has a false positive rate, as well as a complication rate. I’m not in OB, but one of my patients had an amniocentesis that was “probably” abnormal for a chromosome defect;she decided to abort the pregnancy and a subsequent autopsy showed the fetus to be normal. Wrongful birth lawsuits are a 21st century legal maneuver used in a system still stuck in the 19th century.It is just one more reason why the entire tort/civil justice system needs to be overhauled especially in regards to medical care and medical technology.
Most people, and lawyers, don’t understand that prenatal testing- has false positive rate
I doubt that very much. Most people understand that some testing is not definitive. And they all understand after you, in your capacity as care provider, tell them before the test.
“I doubt that very much. Most people understand that some testing is not definitive. And they all understand after you, in your capacity as care provider, tell them before the test.”
You need to get out more. If someone young dies, no matter what the cause, if they saw a doctor, the doctor is responsible. End of story. You can tell them whatever the hell you want before the test, you’re their to make “daddy” better, he looks like he’s gonna die, I can tell them I think he’s gonna die, but they expect you to make him better. Near Death is a passing phase, like gas. Don’t you watch TV?
Evidently you watch a lot of it. Because that appears to be the sole source of your knowledge on most subjects.
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