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Genetic Counseling Seeks to Help Parents with Prenatal Diagnosis

The Illinois birth injury lawyers at our firm have helped many families whose children suffered harm because of mistakes made during their birth. Unfortunately, even if a child develops perfectly healthy, if too much force is used during delivery, or if emergency C-sections are not performed, or a number of other delivery mistakes are made, then the child can suffer permanent, and even fatal, harm. The perilous situation of many babies in these situations and the potential consequences make it essential for those involved in providing the medical care to do everything in their power to keep children safe. When they fail to do so, it is appropriate for victims to seek legal action, potentially filing an Illinois birth injury lawsuit to ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable and proper redress is provided.

Of course, the redress received after these suits is never sufficient to fully correct the harm caused by the medical mistake. We know that all families, if given a choice, would prefer that their child never have the ailment at all. This is true whenever children suffer birth defects or other conditions, including cases where medical negligence had nothing to do with the problem. This desire to better understand the risks face by their children and to take steps to account for those risks is what is leading many more families to consider genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis. As reported in a story this week at OBGYN.net, modern genetics allows researchers to examine DNA, genes, and chromosomes to test for inherited disorders and other potential abnormalities. These tools helps families better detect neural tube defect, cystic fibrosis, Down’s syndrome, and other birth conditions.

The heart of the screening is the process of allowing couples to learn about their families’ predisposition to certain medical abnormalities before conceiving a child. However, the testing can also be used after a child is conceived. Over the years medical professionals have learned that individuals from certain backgrounds, for example, are genetically predisposed to have higher rates of certain conditions. One of the more well-known predispositions, for example, is African-Americans increased risk of passing on sickle-cell anemia to their children. There are many similar predispositions of which the general public is often unaware, like Caucasians increased risk of passing on cystic fibrosis. Yet, it is important for couples to remember that preconception testing only deals with odds of certain outcomes, and cannot determine with certainty whether a child will or will not be born with a certain condition.

Our Chicago injury attorneys know that having a child with complications is a life-altering event for the parents and families involved. All tools that help parents better understand these conditions, perhaps even before a child is even conceived, can help families better prepare and plan for their future. We encourage all families to take advantage of all the resources available to help their family planning proceed in as safe a manner as possible. Of course, that includes taking an active role in the care they receive while pregnant and during childbirth to ensure their medical professionals act reasonably at all times to prevent birth injuries.

In Other News: Two of our companion blogs–The Illinois Medical Malpractice Blog and Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog–were nominated for inclusion as one of the Top 25 Tort Blogs of 2011. The award is part of the LexisNexis project which seeks to feature blogs that set the standard in certain practice areas and industries. The voting to narrow down the field is currently underway, and we would love to have your vote. All you have to do is add a comment at the end of the post about the Top 25 bogs.

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