|Gorovitz & Borten, P.C.
Attorneys at Law
550 Cochituate Road, Suite 25
Tel: (781) 890-9095
|Failed Genetic Counseling
The plaintiff was a prenatal patient of the defendant obstetrician
between January and September 2002. The plaintiff was diagnosed
as pregnant in late January 2002 when she was 24 years old.
Between the date her pregnancy was diagnosed and the delivery of
her child, the plaintiff was seen on 13 separate occasions by the
On April 25, 2002, the plaintiff underwent a "fetal survey ultrasound"
at a major teaching hospital. The ultrasound report stated in part
that "there is an echogenic intracardiac focus, recommend genetic
counseling." Although the information was timely communicated to
the defendant obstetrician, and his initials acknowledged receipt of
the communication within the plaintiff's medical records, the
information was not communicated to the plaintiff in a timely fashion.
On May 23, 2002, the plaintiff, at 21.5 weeks pregnant, was again
evaluated at the defendant's facility. No medical provider involved in
that examination and assessment informed the plaintiff of the results
of the ultrasound, or the recommendation set forth in the April 25,
2002, ultrasound report.
On June 2, 2002, at 24.4 weeks pregnant, the plaintiff underwent an
ultrasound evaluation for risk for Aneuploid (abnormal number of
chromosomes) at the same teaching facility. The findings of the
ultrasound indicated that "findings are associated with an increased
incidence of Aneuploid." The plaintiff was offered genetic counseling
for the first time during the pregnancy. She was also advised that
regardless of the result of the testing, it would be too late to
interrupt the pregnancy.
The plaintiff gave birth to a daughter on Sept. 15, 2002. The child
was diagnosed with Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome). The child
continues to suffer from mild symptoms of Down syndrome,
requiring specialized care, treatment and education on a continuing
The plaintiff's medical expert was prepared to testify that the genetic
abnormalities affecting the plaintiff's gestation, leading to the
delivery of a Down syndrome infant, were identifiable and treatable
by offering the plaintiff, within the accepted time frame, the chance
to decide if she desired to continue with the pregnancy. By not
offering the appropriate testing, and failing to timely inform the
plaintiff of the need for genetic counseling, the plaintiff was deprived
of this opportunity.
The case was referred to mediation shortly after a positive
resolution of the Medical Malpractice Tribunal. The case settled at
mediation for $850,000.
If you, your child or a member of your family have been injured as a
result of not receiving appropriate genetic counseling, deficient
genetic counseling, substandard medical treatment or failure to be
properly treated, please let Dr. Borten and our Boston area medical
malpractice attorneys at Gorovitz & Borten evaluate your case.
For a free confidential consultation and receive a response within
24 hours (when possible), please contact us by phone, fax or e-mail
with your question or concern.
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