A 40-year-old woman who gave birth to a baby girl with sickle cell disease four years ago is suing for the ‘wrongful pregnancy” that led to the baby’s birth. Just before she and her husband conceived their youngest child, the woman underwent a sterilization surgery.
Because of a cyst, the woman lost her right ovary at 12 years old. She also learned that she was a carrier of the sickle cell trait. Sickle cell is a condition that greatly increases the risk of stroke and serious infections. In addition, the condition leads to a lifetime of pain.
That’s why the woman was upset when she found out the sterilization surgery had failed. When she gave birth, medical records show that her left Fallopian tube, the only one she needed ‘tied,” was in perfect working order. Records from her sterilization surgery showed that the doctor actually tied the wrong tube.
The lawsuit was filed in November 2010. As the defense pointed out, the law protects doctors who perform sterilization surgeries in Illinois. Parents of children born with genetic disorders are not entitled to costs that come with raising that child and moved to dismiss the case. However, the appellate court came back with a ruling in February 2014 that said the woman can move forward with the case.
Doctors and surgeons have a duty to their patient’s well being. Any time a patient feels their doctor did not comply with the standard of care in surgery, they should consider speaking to a personal injury attorney. Depending on the circumstances involved, they may be able to help them file a claim against the at-fault parties and be compensated for costs incurred as a result of medical negligence.
Source: ABC News, “Mom Sues for Wrongful Pregnancy After Failed Sterilization“, Katie Moisse, March 18, 2014