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Legal action and ante-natal screening

Posted in Diagnostic testing, Legal issues, Screening, Support services by Matt at WelcometoIllinois on November 5, 2008

A report from Canada.com on the potential for doctors to face legal action if they don’t provide genetic testing to all pregnant mothers highlights the need for adequate processes and support.

    “Canadian physicians may face more wrongful-birth lawsuits if they don’t start adhering to guidelines introduced one year ago recommending all pregnant woman be offered prenatal screening for chromosomal abnormalities, according to an article to be published today by the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

    But one of the authors says not all doctors are aware of the guidelines, nor are there enough medical practitioners in Canada to provide the lengthy counselling pregnant women should be getting.”

It’s pretty sad to think that someone’s reaction to having a baby with Down’s syndrome is to sue the doctor but if screening tests are being mandating without enough thought being put into whether the medical and counselling staff are available then legal action is somewhat inevitable.


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