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Sunday 22 September 2019
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Parents of Girl with Down Syndrome Sue Ultrasound Clinic over Lost Earnings

Parents of Girl with Down Syndrome Sue Ultrasound Clinic over Lost Earnings

Parents in Queensland are suing an ultrasound clinic and their doctor over their failure to diagnose their unborn daughter with Down syndrome hoping to recoup lost earnings and the expenses of raising their now 4-year-old child.

The couple claims they would not have continued with the pregnancy if they had known of her chromosomal abnormalities.

The mother and father went to the Gold Coast clinic in August 2014 for a scan to check if their then-unborn child had any genetic abnormalities. None showed up, and the couple were told the risk was low so they shouldn’t bother undergoing more scans – but when the girl was born in early 2015, she had Down syndrome.

The parents are suing the unnamed clinic over “wrongful birth” and personal injury to the mother. They want the clinic to bear the costs of bringing up the child, which they say would have been terminated had they known she had Down syndrome, and their own loss of future earnings, due to the time and effort spent raising her.

Everyone has the right to proceed or to not proceed with a pregnancy up to a certain point. That is, and always should be, the choice of the owner of the uterus and hopefully with the support of their partner. Not everyone is cut out to raise a child with special needs.

But wow, this still feels so cold. Their little girl is just four years old, no doubt full of wonder and confidence and innocence like all four-year-olds are. It’s the very best age!

It’s a big call to look at their sweet little daughter and say out loud that she should never have been born. Whether it is for financial gain or justice or whatever has prompted them to take legal action against the clinic.

It’s just not sitting right with us.

We do hope that with time these parents will realise the beautiful gift they have been given, “wrongly” or not.



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Jill is a busy wife and mother of four young children. She loves nothing more than making people giggle, and loves to settle in with a glass of wine (or four) and wander about the internet. Feel free to follow her to see all the cool stuff she finds!


2 thoughts on “Parents of Girl with Down Syndrome Sue Ultrasound Clinic over Lost Earnings

  1. AvatarNicole

    Ultrasounds, in regards to Down’s syndrome, has always been a screening test, not a diagnostic test. The only 100% sure way of diagnosing Down’s syndrome is amniocentesis. Even the NIPT bloods are not 100% accurate! The results for the ultrasound, in conjunction with unchallenged blood work are either high risk or low risk, rather than yes or no. GP’s, when referring their patients for ANY ultrasound, should explain the reason for the test, what the results mean and that ultrasound can’t “exclude” – it’s more of a “within the technical confines of this scan, things look as normal as we’d expect for this stage of the pregnancy.” There are so many limitations to all ultrasound scans, and the general public should be aware of this. In saying all that, sonographers are highly trained (post graduate diploma in Australia), highly skilled and are your best chance of finding anatomical abnormalities during pregnancy. My thoughts are with this family and their 4 year old daughter.

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  2. AvatarNicole Martell

    Low risk does not equal no risk. It was the responsibility of the parents to pursue further testing if they wanted all doubt removed. I hope this child is loved, and never finds out her parents in retrospect would have terminated this pregnancy. I totally agree with your sentiment that this does not sit right with me either. Parenting a child with or without a disability is equally as rewarding as it is challenging. I for one could not imagine my life without my 3 special children.

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