More and more people are turning to health care professionals to help plan their families, whether that is to conceive via reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilisation, to allow prospective parents a greater level of control over the avoidance of genetic traits or disorders, or to obtain advice and treatment by way of surgical sterilisation to prevent the birth of further children.
Decisions about having children more than any other decision in our lives shapes who we are as individuals, what we do and what we will be remembered for. Most people find profound enjoyment, fulfillment and meaning in pregnancy and parenthood, and so, the interference with reproductive plans is a serious affront to us as human beings. With scientific advances and highly educated and skilled practitioners who are paid a high price for their skill and expertise, we are entitled to expect that their skills and knowledge will be applied in a way that avoids mistake or chance, and that our decisions are carried out to full effect.
Unfortunately, the level of clinical and pathology mistakes is alarmingly high in a field where there can be no higher objective for treatment and professional care. Few people in our community are aware of their legal rights and remedies for redress arising from the avoidable errors which plague the broad area of reproductive medicine. This is why I am so passionate about my work in seeking redress for victims of reproductive negligence in the field of reproductive medicine.
The topic is vast, and I am simply unable to do it justice to it in such a short piece. However, I will try to touch on just a few examples of issues I have encountered in my years of practice in reproductive negligence.
There are three broad categories of reproductive negligence in the field of reproductive medicine:
- Failed sterilisation – imposition of unwanted pregnancy
- Deprivation of pregnancy
- Birth of children with unwanted genetic traits