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Missed genetic disorders

There are a huge number of possible abnormalities that can arise during fetal development, and which are often apparent from antenatal tests including the nuchal or ‘12 week’ scan, maternal blood tests, amniocentesis, chorionic villous sampling (CVS) and the anomaly or ‘20 week’ scan.

There are the more well-known disorders, such as Down’s Syndrome, Edward’s Syndrome or Patau’s Syndrome, to much rarer conditions involving other missing or duplicated chromosomes.

A parent’s right to have these conditions tested for during early pregnancy is to allow the option to terminate should it be found that the child is likely to be severely disabled. This is a very personal choice but one which is provided by law.

When is a claim possible?

Children born with a genetic condition often require a large amount of extra care and the costs of providing for their disabilities can be huge. The presence of a genetic condition itself will be nobody’s fault. But if it should have been detected during antenatal screening and it wasn’t, then there may be a claim for clinical negligence. If the parents would have chosen not to proceed with the pregnancy had they been advised of the abnormalities, they have a right to claim compensation to cover the costs of caring and providing for their disabled child. This is what is known as a ‘wrongful birth’ claim.

Claims can also arise when a sterilisation or vasectomy procedure fails, resulting in an unwanted pregnancy. If the baby is born with disabilities, again, the parents can claim for the cost of providing for their disabled child.

How we can help

We are experienced in pursuing claims for missed genetic disorders or other abnormalities during pregnancy, and have helped many families obtain large amounts of financial compensation to ensure that the disabled child has the best care and support available. It is a niche area of law and one in which only specialist solicitors should be involved. We are able to offer this specialism alongside our extensive experience in all types of birth injury claim.

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