Growth In Reproductive Opportunities Carries With It Need For Re-Evaluation Of Current Tort Law Landscape.

A steady increase in technologies in recent decades has made childbirth far more accessible for those who cannot achieve procreation in the traditional sense. However, while better technology aims at creating solutions, it also can bring with it a host of new problems. When such a problem occurs, it may be wise to call an expert birth injury attorney for advice at 617-787-3700. These problems came to a head on March 4, 2018, when two facilities storing large amounts of genetic material failed due to human error, causing over 4,000 embryos to be deemed “unsalvageable,” and affecting over 950 families as a result. While this serves as just one illustration of the new issues arising in this field, it raises a larger and uniformly important question regarding the recourse available to those affected by such events.

As reported by Dov Fox, a law Professor at the University of San Diego, families have great difficulty convincing courts that they deserve damages as a result of reproductive mishandling. Much of the problem lies with attaching a monetary figure to either an unwanted pregnancy or a deprived pregnancy. However, as Fox argues, parenthood or freedom therefrom is a crucial aspect of self-definition that should be subject to careful legal analysis.

Fox argues that there are three distinct categories of reproductive torts (forcing an unwanted pregnancy, denying a wanted pregnancy, and altering plans for a child to  have certain genetic features) that should each give rise to a distinct cause of action under birth injury law. Fox suggests attaching a percentage for the actual extent to which human misconduct caused the reproductive loss (as opposed to other factors such as infertility) and, coupled with an assessment of the practical damage to the lives of the affected, determining a monetary figure based on that percentage. While there is still a long way to go in developing adequate remedies for these types of situations, Fox’s proposed framework is a start, and may one day be seen as a catalyst in the development of tort law in the reproductive context.

If you or a loved one has been deprived of or had forced upon you a pregnancy due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to monetary damages. To discuss a potential claim for reproductive negligence, please contact one of our medical malpractice expert attorneys here at the Law Offices of Gilbert R. Hoy, Jr. and Affiliates. Call us today at 617-787-3700 or email us at info@gilhoylaw.com for your free and private consultation. Your needs are our top priority!

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