If a woman is over the age of 35 years old and becomes pregnant she is considered to be of “advanced maternal age”.
Becoming pregnant when older comes with some risks. These risks should be shared with pregnant mothers by their obstetrician, but many times are not.
We have 2 current wrongful life cases where pregnant mothers, both over 35 years old, were not made aware of any potential risks. Their obstetricians failed to refer them to a high risk obstetrician for consultation.
Both mothers should have been offered amniocentesis, which is the standard of care. This type of testing would have easily revealed the grossly apparent chromosomal abnormality in both cases. Both children were born with profound injuries and require lifelong care.
Independent of one’s opinion on abortion, a mother has the right to know about the health of the fetus and make decisions accordingly. The lesson to take away from this is that one has to be their own advocate and not necessarily trust the care provided by their obstetrician.