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Not Comfortable

1 February 2012

This seems a bit ‘iffy’ to me.   I realise we haven’t got the whole story from A to Z but making various assumptions, I’d say I feel sorry for the doctor who’s being sued.

The father of this boy (who is the husband of the boy’s mother) has a rare genetic disorder which gave the child a 50% chance of abnormality.  The parents claim they weren’t properly informed of this and wouldn’t have chosen to have the child if they’d known.

But I’m assuming (and it is only an assumption) that as the couple had used IVF it was because they had tried and failed to conceive using natural means.  It would appear from the story that prior to obtaining IVF treatment, they weren’t aware of the disorder from which the husband suffered.

Therefore, if they’d been successful in achieving a pregnancy by “normal” methods, they would still have had a 50% chance of an abnormality.  There would have been nobody to sue and they would have just had to bite the bullet. 

I do think it’s strange that the IVF doctor didn’t pursue the matter further with them but I’ve no idea how these things work.   IVF isn’t a procedure normally entered into lightly so I also think it VERY strange that the couple themselves didn’t look further into this. 

But there seems to be an expectation that IVF must produce a ‘perfect’ baby whereas the natural method has always been known to be haphazard.  We’ve had instances of doctors being sued because IVF resulted in twins when the couple only wanted one child.  I’m afraid my attitude to that is “tough luck” – you wanted a child desperately enough to seek medical intervention and now you’ve got two.  Double work and expense I know, but just live with it.

I appreciate that raising a disabled child would be incredibly hard work, a terrific strain and expense and not something that any of us would wish on anyone.  But to lay the blame for this at the feet of the medical profession is I believe rather unfair, unless of course the doctor in a state of complete madness in some way deliberately damaged the child. 

Pregnancy and childbirth isn’t an exact science as I know only too well from friends who have very sad stories to tell.           

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3 comments

  1. I agree. I wonder why anyone would want to enter the medical profession these days when it appears that you can be sued for just about anything that goes wrong. It’s almost as though they expected that, because they paid for the foetus, that it should be perfect.


  2. A follow up story (http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/keedens-stroke-not-related-to-inherited-disorder-20120201-1qsr0.html) says that the doctor’s defence is stating that the genetic condition was at most a minor factor in the stroke the boy suffered, which is the cause of his severe disability.


  3. Hmm! It would be good to have all the facts, wouldn’t it? But I guess they will only come to light as the trial proceeds (and maybe not even then).



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