Australian parents sue, say daughter with Down syndrome shouldn’t have been born

Jun 12, 2019 by

by Cassy Fiano-Chesser, Live Action:

A couple in Australia is suing an ultrasound clinic and their doctor over their daughter’s birth, claiming they would have undergone an abortion had they known in advance about the diagnosis of Down syndrome. The Supreme Court has given them extra time to prepare their case, in a horrifying example of yet another wrongful birth claim.

In 2014, the parents visited a clinic to determine if their baby had any chromosomal abnormalities, and were told the risks were in the “low range,” so further testing was not necessary. Then, in 2015, their baby was born with Down syndrome and spent a few weeks in the NICU. The child’s parents are suing for “child-rearing and maintenance costs, as well as for loss of future earnings while caring for a child with a disability” according to 9News, with the mother also suing for personal injury.

While it is not known what specific testing was used for the child, first trimester screenings are just that: screenings. They are not diagnostic, and something like a nuchal translucency screening gives an odds-based result based on an ultrasound and blood test. The only diagnostic test, an amniocentesis, is performed in the second trimester, and carries a risk of miscarriage — which is why most doctors are not willing to have a patient undergo the procedure without a serious reason to do so.

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