Fertility Clinic Malpractice Lawyers
Advances in medicine have revolutionized many couples’ and individuals’ ability to conceive a child. For those who struggle to become pregnant on their own or are physically unable to conceive or carry a child, fertility clinics have been a godsend. Fertility treatments assist couples or individuals with having a child using the medicine, technology, and/or other medical forms of assisted reproduction. These treatments can be especially helpful for infertile couples or individuals having trouble conceiving a child. The rise of fertility clinics has helped many people start loving families. While fertility clinics are relatively new to modern medicine, they are still expected to adhere to the same standards as other specialties, or else they can commit medical malpractice.
We are fortunate to live in a time when people struggling to conceive have options; however, fertility options often come at a high price, take a physical toll, and are frequently not covered by insurance. Furthermore, individuals seeking such treatment are emotionally vulnerable, and they place a tremendous amount of trust in fertility specialists and reproductive technology. When someone entrusts their own bodily health and the health and safety of their future offspring to a fertility clinic, they rightfully expect the utmost care to be taken during all steps of the process. Unfortunately, however, that is proving not to be the case for many trusting patients.
Diagnostic Testing Obligations
Fertility clinics must provide a certain standard of care to their patients, which includes diagnosing potentially harmful or life-threatening conditions in patients and donors. If a fertility clinic fails to diagnose a condition, it can lead to a lifelong affliction requiring regular medical treatment, therapies, and special education.
While some women use their own eggs to conceive a child, other people seeking to become parents use egg donors. Using an egg donor to conceive a child presents unique risks to parents and their unborn children. What if a donated egg has a genetic abnormality that causes a congenital condition for the child? In addition, many women rely on a male donor to provide sperm, and donors must meet certain requirements to protect the health of the child. Unfortunately, not all fertility clinics abide by required standards. When a fertility clinic fails to diagnose congenital conditions, families are left with not only emotional pain but also the cost of a lifetime of special care.
Testing is absolutely crucial in helping doctors diagnose patients. Fertility clinics have a responsibility to make sure donors are not passing on dangerous diseases to unborn children. These facilities cannot protect patients if they don’t perform the required tests correctly and review the results. Patients that suffer injuries due to a facility’s failure to perform or review egg or sperm donor testing can hold the negligent parties responsible by filing a lawsuit with the help of a fertility clinic malpractice lawyer.
Fertility Clinic Malpractice Ushers in A New Era of Medical Malpractice Claims
The following are some of the most common types of fertility treatments and, often form the subject matter for lawsuits against fertility doctors and clinics:
Common Fertility Treatments
- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): This complex series of procedures are used to help with fertility or prevent genetic problems in the conception of a child. With IVF, the sperm and egg are collected, brought together in a lab, fertilized, and grown for a few days. The woman who is set to conceive takes medications to increase her chances of implantation. Then, the embryo is placed in the woman’s uterus. Since this is not a one-step process, errors can occur at any of the stages involved.
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): IUI is a one-step process wherein sperm is collected and placed directly inside the woman’s uterus during ovulation to facilitate fertilization. The goal is to have more sperm reach the fallopian tubes and thus increase the chances of fertilizing an egg and thus pregnancy.
- Fertility Medication: One or both potential parents and/or a gestational carrier can be prescribed a variety of medications to help them conceive.
- Surgery: A man may need fertility surgery to widen veins or eliminate blockages to help sperm travel better. In women, surgery may be needed in cases of endometriosis or to open blocked fallopian tubes.
Common Errors Committed by Fertility Clinics
Unfortunately, fertility clinics make very serious mistakes potentially leaving people without the possibility of ever having children, or resulting in children born with severe health defects. Possible results of fertility clinic malpractice include:
- Birth defects
- Improper fertility treatment or procedure
- Medication error
- Lost embryos
- Mismanagement of or lost sperm samples
- Damaged or lost frozen eggs
- Destroyed samples
- Fertilization using the wrong samples
- Physically injuring a patient during a procedure such as implantation or sperm retrieval
Pennsylvania Fertility Clinic Malpractice Lawyers
With reproductive negligence or malpractice, the stakes are incredibly high, as it only takes a single mistake to ruin one’s hopes for a child. Patients subject themselves to an emotionally draining and expensive treatment in the hopes of being able to start or grow their families. Fertility clinic malpractice can take the miracle of birth and turn it into a tragedy. If you have suffered from fertility clinic malpractice, you likely have many questions. Individuals or couples who suffered because of the preventable errors of a fertility specialist or fertility clinic may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against those responsible. Contact the experienced trial lawyers of Lopez McHugh today to learn more about what we can do to help.