GENETIC TESTING MALPRACTICE2019-01-20T15:10:36+00:00

GENETIC TESTING MALPRACTICE

PRENATAL SCREENING

Prenatal screening for genetic disorders has become a mainstream part of obstetric practice.  These screenings will show parents whether they have an increased risk of having a fetus that might be affected by a genetic disorder.  It is sometimes recommended that parents that are at high risk of having a baby with a genetic disorder due to both parents being carriers, choose not to conceive together, and to consider using a donor if they wish to have children.

PRENATAL TESTING

Prenatal testing during pregnancy is designed to actually test the fetus to see there is a genetic disorder present.  Unfortunately, the testing is not 100% accurate and there are many false negatives and false positives that occur, leaving parents with difficult decisions.  A false negative could result in a baby being born with a genetic disorder, and a false negative could cause the termination of a healthy fetus. This leaves parents with difficult decisions, and has given rise to a large number of lawsuits for wrongful abortion and wrongful birth.

AMNIOCENTESIS

Amniocentesis is the most accurate test, and is recommended for women over the age of 35.  Testing can be done early, if requested, and if there is a family history of genetic disorders.  It is usually performed between 14 and 20 weeks, and involves taking a sample of the amniotic fluid through a needle.  This test is more accurate than others, but still has some percentage of false positives and negatives.

NEGLIGENCE

In addition to the flaws inherent to testing that if performed properly, there is sometimes negligence in the testing process.  There is an expectation that genetic testing will be done properly, that the correct tests will be given, that the laboratory will perform the tests properly and that the doctors will interpret the results correctly.  This is when families that that suffered with a wrongful birth should contact an experienced genetic malpractice attorney.

These are some situations from recent cases where the expectation of proper testing was not correct:

  • Failure to offer genetic counseling to a family
  • Failure to provide appropriate prenatal testing
  • Errors by the laboratory
  • Doctors did not accurately interpret results
  • Medical professional failing to carry out orders

FAILURE TO OFFER GENETIC COUNSELING

Some younger mothers may decide to have testing based on their family history, and to test early in the pregnancy.  Those decisions should be made with the benefit of genetic counseling. If no testing is done, and a baby is born with a genetic disorder, the failure of the medical office to recommend it, will present serious liability.  Genetic counseling is a very important part of the process as informed consent must be obtained for the decision to either terminate or continue a pregnancy in light of the information that the testing provides. Parents must be counseled about the impact of a genetic disorder on a person’s health, and also about the statistics of false positives and negatives.  Failure to offer this counseling leaves the medical profesionals vulnerable to a lawsuit, should the decision that was made by the parents, turn out to be a bad one.

FAILURE TO PROVIDE APPROPRIATE GENETIC TESTING

Testing must be offered to all mothers based on the results of their genetic counseling, their health history and their age.  Failure to arrange for this testing, should a baby be born with a genetic disorder, would clearly be malpractice. The testing must also be appropriate, if a mother that is under 35 is given an amniocentesis that causes a spontaneous abortion with a good reason for having the testing done, the doctor can be liable for this inappropriate testing.  

ERRORS AT THE LABORATORY

Human error can play a part in any disaster, and errors at laboratories are common.  Sometimes the wrong sample is tested or the beaker is contaminated. These mistakes can cause false positives or negatives regarding the health of a fetus.  When this happens the laboratory is obviously liable, but the doctors can also be responsible if they based their decision solely on the testing, and did not apply common sense that might be needed, such as checking the patient’s history.

DOCTORS DID NOT CORRECTLY INTERPRET THE RESULTS

Test results must be interpreted by a doctor, and sometimes they are not interpreted correctly.  It could be that the results were written on the wrong patient’s chart or that the doctor was not familiar enough with the testing and the disorders.  This gives rise to liability should a decision be made to terminate a pregnancy or a pregnancy continues with an unexpected result.

WRONGFUL ABORTION

An evolving area of the law surrounds cases where negligence is alleged that caused them to terminate a pregnancy with a health fetus.  This loss of a fetus can be actionable where the decision was based the wrong information. These cases often turn on the psychological and emotional harm that the family feels when they find out that they have terminated a healthy pregnancy.  

WRONGFUL BIRTH

These sad cases are for children who were born with devastating diseases that could have been diagnosed with genetic testing very early in the pregnancy.  The quality of life for these children can be close to non-existent, and the parents must suffer through this anguish and experience economic loss due to the astronomical cost of caring for these severely disabled children.  We understand that this is a serious issue, and that not all parents might elect to end a pregnancy no matter the testing results are, but parents should be given the option of testing, and the testing should be done correctly to determine what genetic problems a fetus might have.  Some genetic problems cause disabilities that might cause a child to have a disability such as Down’s Syndrome or Dwarfism that might make their lives more difficult, but with proper support, well worth living. There are other genetic problems that are so devastating that there is virtually no quality of life.  That’s when you might consider bringing an action for wrongful birth with a genetic malpractice attorney. If your family is living with the aftermath of wrongful birth, you owe it to yourselves to contact a genetic medical malpractice attorney for a consultation.

What to Do After a Rear End Collision?

Getting hit by a car from behind can be a terrifying experience, but knowing what steps to take immediately afterward can make a significant difference in your safety and well-being. In this blog, we'll outline the necessary actions to ensure your health and we’ll also discuss how a Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens car accident attorney helps you get justice and the highest possible amount of compensation for your out-of-pocket medical expenses, past and future lost earnings, property damage, pain, suffering and mental anguish. Stay Calm and Assess the Situation After being hit by a car from the rear, it's crucial to stay as calm as possible despite the shock of the sudden unexpected impact. Take a deep breath and assess your surroundings to determine the extent of any injuries you may have sustained. Don’t make any sudden moves that could jeopardize the safety of yourself, other occupants in your vehicle or other people on the scene. Check for Injuries Assessing your injuries and those of any passengers or pedestrians involved is priority number one. Check for signs of pain, [...]

How Long Will It Take to Resolve a Personal Injury Claim for Truck Accident?

Suffering injuries in a truck accident can be a harrowing experience, and the process of seeking compensation on your ow n can add to all the pain and suffering. One of the most common questions victims ask experienced Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn traffic accident attorneys is how long it will take to collect compensation. The best Queens accidents attorneys know there’s no simple answer because the timeline for resolving claims can vary based on several factors, and truck accident lawyers in NYC know that these tend to be the most complicated cases. Step 1 - Investigation and Gathering Evidence The initial process involves investigating the accident. In some cases, it may be as simple as police report that indicates that you were hit in the rear by a speeding truck. In other situations, there may be several defendants with conflicting stories about what caused the accident. When liability is not clear, the best Queens accidents attorneys conduct a thorough investigation. This includes collecting evidence such as accident reports, medical records, police reports, witness statements and any available video footage or [...]

The Plight of Pedestrians Hit by Ubers and Lyfts

The rise of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft has undoubtedly transformed the way people commute in cities, including New York City (NYC). Instead of standing in the rain, hoping to get a cab, you can wait in a vestibule while you monitor the arrival of your ride on your phone. Like all new technology, the advantages often come with a downside and in this case, it’s a huge increase in the volume of pedestrian accidents caused by Ubers and Lyfts. The best Queens, Brooklyn, and Bronx car accident attorneys knew how to help pedestrians injured in these pedestrian accidents in New York City. You’ll need to hire one of the top car accident lawyers Queens to go up against these high-tech corporations that are constantly looking for ways to avoid their responsibilities. Liability in Pedestrian Accidents Determining liability in a pedestrian accident involving rideshare services can be complex. When a pedestrian is hit by an Uber or Lyft vehicle, several factors come into play. The driver's actions, the status of the ride (whether the driver was on duty or [...]

What To Do If You’re Hit by a Delivery Truck in New York City?

Accidents involving delivery trucks can be serious with potential consequences ranging from property damage to severe injuries. If you find yourself in such an unfortunate situation of being hit by a delivery truck in New York City, it's important to consult a reputable Queens and Brooklyn car accident attorney to discuss your legal rights. Truck accidents are complicated, often involving more than one business entity that may be from another state or even another country. The steps you take immediately after an accident can help your truck accident attorney in NYC build a strong case on your behalf. Contact Law Enforcement Even if the accident seems minor, it's essential to contact local police and to report the accident. A police report can be crucial documentation for insurance claims and legal proceedings. Provide accurate information to the police officers and ask for a copy of the report. Never agree to “keep the insurance companies out of it” by exchanging information and not calling the police and never take cards from people posing as “good samaritans” who try to steer you [...]

Is Your Loved One a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?

Is an elderly or disabled member of your family living in a nursing home? If so, when was the last time you spoke to them or visited in person? One of the most important things you can do to support your family member is to let the facility know that somebody in the outside world is paying attention. The best personal injury attorneys in NYC know what telltale signs to look for that might indicate that a nursing home resident is being abused or neglected. If you suspect something is afoul, it’s important to consult with a Queens and Brooklyn personal injury attorney to determine whether your loved one is at risk. Physical Abuse According to the World Health Organization, physical abuse at nursing homes is more common that you might think. It usually occurs due to the frustration of nursing home staff handling residents with psychiatric disorders or dementia. If your loved one has suffered from broken bones or other physical injuries, demand a full report of the circumstances and discuss the report with your family member to see [...]

How To Stay Safe on The Road During the Holidays

Are you planning for a road trip with your family this holiday season? There are few things more memorable than spending travelling for the holidays with your family, but it’s important to take precautions so that your time on the road doesn’t turn into a nightmare. The risks of bad weather, heavy traffic and encountering drunk or reckless drivers will always be there, but there are things you can do to minimize your risk of having a serious accident on the road. Wittenstein & Wittenstein has been the top Queens car accident attorney and leading truck accident attorney in NYC for more than sixty years, so we know what causes crashes and how to prevent them. Queens Car Accident Attorney’s Avoidance Strategies Reduce Speed Under Adverse Conditions Driving below the speed limit is a must to avoid paying heavy fines for infractions, but there are times when driving near the speed limit is too dangerous. Rain can reduce traction and make it more difficult to see, so driving at least ten miles under the speed limit is prudent. In [...]