This week, we saw two wrongful birth cases with two entirely different rulings. I’m a fertility doctor that wants to educate, empower and help patients every single day. The reason for talking about these cases is so I can help patients learn what they can do to protect themselves from similar situations.
The first case is one in which a family with a known genetic issue had a procedure done to test their pregnancy while pregnant called a CVS procedure. The results returned normal but the genetic testing company wasn’t given information that a parent was a carrier of an unbalanced translocation. As a result of the lack of information, the wrong results were reported. They were told the pregnancy was normal when it wasn’t. How can you make sure you don’t have an issue like this if you have similar testing done?
1. Talk to a geneticist. A geneticist will handhold your case every step of the way. I’m sure that very important protocols were put into place as a result of this case so that cases like this don’t happen in the future.
2. Double check and keep a paper record of all your medical records and blood test orders and results. If you see that you should have something ordered but it wasn’t, ask your doc the important questions so that things don’t fall through the cracks. Hopefully everything is always going to be checked and ordered the way it should be so that your health care team members will just provide constant reassurance.
The second case is one in which a patient ordered a vial of sperm but got the wrong donor’s vial. It was not intentional and the explanation by the sperm bank was that the numbers were very similar. If you’re using a sperm donor:
1. Ask to see the vial and the paperwork that came with the vial.
2. Compare that paperwork the clinic receives with the paperwork you received when you ordered the vial from the sperm bank. All the paperwork should match up.
This case brings up how important it is to look at the vial you ordered before you inseminate. Every vial comes with an ID number. That number should match up with all the paperwork on the donor. If it doesn’t , ask the necessary questions before you do the insemination. Here is their interview from the Today Show in 2014.
Hope this information helps!