Compensation from hospitals for disabled children

Aliska - posted on 07/20/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )




I don't believe these couples are entitled to compensation. There are no guarantees that things will be perfect when you start a family, you have to be open to what happens. Not every baby born will be 'perfect' but is still entitled to life, love and respect. Not every 'perfect' baby stays that way as unfortunately illness and injury can occur.

Rather than sue the doctors/hospitals concerned these families should use the resources they plan to put into a court case into lobbying the government for better services for all disabled people and their families and carers. There is a woeful lack of funding for services for people with any kind of disability in Australia.

What do others think? To sue or not to sue?

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Danielle - posted on 07/22/2010




I think each situation should be looked at individually.

I agree, there are risks involved in starting a family that can't be avoided...certain things are just meant to happen and the hospitals can't play God.

However, my cousin has cerebral palsy and if I'm not mistaken it was as a result of the doctor who delivered him having been drinking before hand. My cousin's family did sue him and he pays all of his medical bills and what not and will for the rest of his life. In those situations, I am all for suing the hospital.

Sharon - posted on 07/21/2010




No. Unless your doctor said "these tests are 100% accurate and your child has no genetic issues" you cannot sue.

If you're to poor to take care of a special needs child - you shouldn't have gambled at your advanced age.

Lucy - posted on 07/21/2010




I don't believe in these cases they should be entitled to compensation, or even be considering a law suit.

They were made aware of the risks of carrying a baby past a certain age, and even though they must have known that no test is fool proof, they decided to go down that road anyway. I'm not saying that older couples shouldn't have kids, but blaming someone else for the results of a risk they chose to take seems unreasonable to me.

It is obviously different when the actions of the hospital actually CAUSE a disability. This happened to a friend of ours who had twins, and one was deprived of oxygen and ended up with cerebral palsy due to a doctor's mistake. They quite rightly sued. But when it is down to a baby's condition not being diagnosed in utero, unless the hospital have claimed that their test results are definitive and correct every time, they cannot be held responsible.

I sympathise with the couple if there is a lack of funding where they live, but feel they should put their energies into campaigning for a fairer system rather than put further strain on the inadequate one already in place.

It is the government's lack of funding and their own inability to accept the risk they took that is causing the couples' financial difficulties, not the hospital.

Jodi - posted on 07/20/2010




I'm going off to find more info. I mean, one of those cases states "The parents allege a failure to "exercise reasonable care" of the mother, "advise (her) in relation to the risks of Down syndrome given her age" and "provide (her) with the option of ante-natal screening."

I mean, geez, I was 35 when I fell pregnant with my youngest, and I knew about the greater risks at that age, it isn't rocket science!!!!

Basically, with the initial screening, one in 20 give a false positive, indicating the baby is at high risk when it was normal, and one in 2000 give a false negative, indicating a baby is normal when it isn't.

This has very eerie elements of Jodi Picoult's "Handle with Care"......

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