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Couple sues for failure to diagnose cystic fibrosis in utero

Most Oregon women who are pregnant do not necessarily care as much about whether they have a boy or a girl as long as the baby is healthy. Some mothers have specific concerns when it comes to whether the baby will be born with a genetic condition such as cystic fibrosis. An out-of-state woman claims that a failure to diagnose her child's cystic fibrosis in utero denied her the opportunity to terminate the pregnancy, and now her child will never have a normal life.

The woman claims that she expressed her concerns to her obstetrician's nurse practitioner. She requested that the appropriate blood test be performed to determine whether she was a carrier of the condition. She and her husband had decided that if there was a chance their child would be born with cystic fibrosis, the pregnancy would be terminated.

The test was not done, and their child suffers from a severe form of the genetic condition. The Montana woman alleges that her doctor violated the standard of care by not performing the proper test. The defendants claim that the woman never asked for the testing to be done. They further claim that she does not have standing to sue for "wrongful birth" in Montana, but the court allowed the case to move forward despite the defendants' objections.

Parents want their children to live long, healthy and happy lives. Therefore, when a child's quality of life is in jeopardy before he or she is even born, prospective parents have the right to know so they can make what must be one of the hardest decisions they will ever face. Wrongful birth is a viable claim here in Oregon, and a doctor's failure to diagnose a genetic condition or other abnormalities with the fetus in utero could result in the filing of civil claims for financial damages.

Source: Fox News, "Mom seeks medical expenses for child with cystic fibrosis", Feb. 3, 2016

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