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New York Failure to Conduct Genetic Testing

Each year thousands of babies are born in New York and across the country with serious, debilitating genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and Down syndrome. These disorders are genetic, meaning that the baby inherits it from a gene carried by one or both parents. With advanced genetic testing, doctors are often able to determine if there is a risk of the baby being born with a serious, life-changing condition. Armed with such information, parents can make informed family planning decisions. On the other hand, if a doctor fails to perform genetic testing, then parents may be shocked when a child is born with a genetic injury that could have been predicted. If you child was born with a serious, inherited birth injury, contact an experienced New York birth injury lawyer to discuss your case. If you were not given the opportunity to explore options related to your pregnancy because of your doctor’s failure to conduct genetic testing, your may be eligible for compensation to cover the medical expenses related to your child’s condition.

Genetic disorders

With advances in genetic testing over the past few decades, doctors are able to access the risk of whether or not a child will have a particular genetic disorder based on tests performed on the parents. With genetic testing parents can make informed decisions regarding pregnancy risks. Failure to conduct genetic testing robs parents of this opportunity. With genetic testing, doctors are able to determine if there are risks for a number of genetic disorders, including:

  • Canavan disease. Canavan disease is a rare degenerative brain disorder that has no cure. Children with the disorder are unable to walk, stand, sit up, or even swallow. Canavan is due to a missing enzyme called aspartoacylase. People of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry have a higher risk of carrying the genetic disorder.
  • Angelman syndrome. A genetic disorder causing developmental disabilities and nerve-related symptoms. Children with Angelman syndrome have difficulty walking, poor coordination, speech delays, seizures, and intellectual disabilities. Angelman syndrome is usually caused by abnormalities with a gene located on chromosome 15.
  • Cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening inherited disorder that affects the lungs and digestive system.
  • Down syndrome (trisomy 21). Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21. Children with Down syndrome have mild to moderate intellectual disabilities, and have distinctive physical features such as flattened faces, short neck, poor muscle tone, and upward slanting eyes.
  • Tay-Sachs. Tay-sachs is a rare, inherited disorder that destroys nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. It is caused by the absence of an enzyme that helps break down fatty substances.
  • Spina Bifida. Spina bifida is a neural tubal defect that affects the brain and spinal cord. Children with spina bifida commonly have muscular weakness, gastrointestical problems, intellectual disabilities, and paralysis. Risk factors for spina bifida include a family history of neural tube defects and folic acid deficiency.
  • Sickle cell anemia. Sickle cell anemia is hereditary condition in which there are not enough healthy red blood cells to properly oxygenate the body. Children with sickle cell amenia have joint pain and chest pain. In order for a baby to have sickle cell anemia, both parents must carry a sickle cell gene. It is common among African Americans.
  • Thalassemia major. Thalassemia major is a condition that is marked by a decrease in the production of certain oxygen carrying proteins in red blood cells. It is an inherited disorder as an autosomal recessive trait. Children with thalassemia major experience fatigue, weakness, paleness, and slow growth. Those with severe cases may require blood transfusions or a donor stem-cell transplant.
Pursuing damages for failure to conduct genetic testing

As a knowledgeable birth injury attorney in New York will explain, in order to prevail in a medical malpractice claim based on failure to conduct genetic testing, there are elements that you must prove. You must have evidence that the doctor you named as defendant did not perform tests or explain the availability of tests that would have disclosed the risk of your baby being born with a serious genetic impairment. Your baby must have been born with a serious genetic impairment. You must also show that if you had know that there was a risk of your baby being born with a genetic impairment, you would not have conceived the baby, or you would not have carried the baby to term. In addition, you must show that because of your doctor’s negligence in failing to disclose the risk of genetic impairment, you suffered a loss such as extraordinary medical bills.

Defendants in medical malpractice cases based on a failure to conduct genetic testing or negligent genetic testing include geneticists, genetic counselors, obstetricians, reproductive endocrinologists, hospitals and laboratories. After reviewing your medical records, a skilled attorney will be able to determine who was at fault.

If you prevail in your claim against your doctor, you may be awarded compensation for the medical bills related to the genetic impairment as well as other related losses.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you believe that you have a medical malpractice lawsuit against your doctor based on negligence related to genetic testing, it is important that you are represented by an attorney in New York who has the knowledge and resources to ensure that your rights are protected. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have decades of experience successfully representing clients with serious disabilities due to the negligence of medical professionals. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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