Entries in Prenatal Disorders (2)


Parents Get $2.9M in Down Syndrome Girl ‘Wrongful Birth’ Suit

Photodisc/Thinkstock(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- The parents of a four-year-old Oregon girl with Down syndrome were awarded $2.9 million after doctors misdiagnosed their daughter as not having the condition during a prenatal screening.

Ariel and Deborah Levy of Portland, Ore., filed a “wrongful birth” lawsuit against Legacy Health System, claiming that they would have terminated the pregnancy had they known they would have a special-needs child.

The Levys said the doctors were “negligent in their performance, analysis and reporting” of test results after their child was born as well.

“It’s been difficult for them,” said David K. Miller, the Levy’s lawyer, according to ABC News affiliate KATU. “There’s been a lot of misinformation out there.

“These are parents who love this little girl very, very much,” Miller said. “Their mission since the beginning was to provide for her and that’s what this is all about.”

The $2.9 million will cover the estimated extra lifetime costs of caring for someone with Down syndrome.

After the decision was announced, Legacy Health issued a statement that read, “While Legacy Health has great respect for the judicial process, we are disappointed in today’s verdict. The legal team from Legacy Health will be reviewing the record and considering available options. Given this, we believe that further comment at this point would not be appropriate.”

It’s unclear what type of genetic testing the couple underwent. Genetic counselors say there are different types of screening options, including amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, and an ultrasound combined with blood testing.

A blood test with an ultrasound will only predict the risk of developing Down syndrome or other genetic abnormalities, said Virginia Carver, a prenatal genetic counselor at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.

Amniocentesis will determine whether or not a child has Down syndrome and is considered the “gold standard” of testing, Carver said. That test is typically about 99 percent accurate.

“But even the most accurate test isn’t 100 percent accurate,” she said. “There is a small percentage of chance that the testing might not be correct because of human error.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Battered Adoptive Parents Give Away Their Out-Of-Control Child

Photo Courtesy -- ABC News(LONG GROVE, Ill.) -- An Illinois family that sent their troubled seven-year-old adoptive daughter, Ellie, to Washington State to live with another family has decided to take their story public.  Craig and Lori Gertz say they adopted the troubled child at birth, unaware of the newborn's exposure to drugs and alcohol in the womb.  Ellie's behavior was said to be become so violent and problematic that the couple's other two children were also at risk.  At three years old, she was diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) -- a condition that affects as many children as autism, yet gets a fraction of the medical attention and resources.  Later, the Gertzes found out that Ellie would need more concentrated care in a residential treatment program that would cost $160,000 per year -- a cost they could not afford.  The Gertz family made the difficult decision to enter into a third-party guardianship and hand over full control of Ellie's education and upbringing for a year, when the families involved will then make a final decision about her care.  Lori Gertz, 47, emphasizes that this is not an adoption-gone-wrong story, and that she would adopt again in a heartbeat.  Of giving her child to another family, Gertz said, "I just never, in my life, could imagine even associating with having to let my baby go.  I will always love my Ellie."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio