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New York appeals court rules when wrongful birth lawsuit starts

There have been many advancements in all areas of life in New York over the years, and it is no different in the medical field. There are constantly new drugs, devices and procedures being developed to improve the current medical practice. Medical professionals can now treat certain conditions much better and diseases and injuries that once killed people now can be healed. There have also been many advances that now allow more people to have children. Many people utilize in vitro fertilization now if they cannot have children on their own.

The process can use donor eggs as well and doctors have the ability to determine whether certain eggs have genetic defects that will affect the child after birth. Many parents using this process to become pregnant want to know whether any genetic defects exist, so they can have healthy children. Since doctors can now detect these defects, parents can now sue doctors through medical malpractice lawsuits if a child has a defect and the doctor did not find it or did not notify the parent.

These types of medical malpractice lawsuits are known as wrongful birth lawsuits and basically the parents are suing, stating that they would not have had the children if they would have known about the defect. Like any lawsuit, though, there is a statute of limitation in these cases, and there was a debate about when that statute of limitations began to run.

The question was whether it started when the in vitro fertilization took place or when the child was born. Recently a New York appeals court settled the debate by ruling that the statute of limitations began at birth since that parents could not bring a lawsuit until after the child was born.

There are many parents in New York who use in vitro fertilization to have children. Many would like to know about any genetic defects in the eggs to decide if they want those eggs or not. If the doctor does not inform the parent about a potential defect, the parent may be able to sue the doctor after the child is born. These types of cases can be very complicated though, and experienced attorneys may be a useful resource.

Source:, "Wrongful birth lawsuits start the moment a child is born, appeals court rules" Glenn Blain, Dec. 14, 2017

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