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Mother wins $7 million in medical malpractice lawsuit

The mother of a disabled child won a $7 million settlement in a medical malpractice lawsuit against four medical professionals at UMass Memorial Medical Center, The Boston Globe reports. The mother alleged that the professionals failed to offer her tests which would have led her to have an abortion instead of carrying her disabled child to term.

An obstetrician, a nurse practitioner, a geneticist, and a genetic counselor failed to inform the woman of the availability of tests to determine whether her child a medical disorder. The mother said that she would have aborted her daughter if she was offered the tests because her daughter has a severe genetic disorder.

"Patronizingly, the caregivers in this case thought that they knew best and seemingly ignored the mother's translated wishes that, for her own personal and cultural needs, she be assured, as much as medically possible, that her fetus was normal," the mother's attorney said in a statement.

A hospital spokesman refused to comment on specifics about this case, citing a confidentiality agreement.

"However, UMass Memorial tries to learn from all cases where patients raise concerns regarding care," the spokesman said. "In regards to this case, improvements were made regarding documentation policies and communication. Events of this nature impact patients, their families, and the providers of care, and we strive to learn from them."

Source: The Boston Globe, "Mother of disabled child wins a $7 million settlement," Travis Andersen, 5/6/11

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