Basically the parents have been unsuccessful in their lawsuit, and I breathe a sigh of relief (as a medical professional). For more information, follow these links.
- Lesbians fail in lawsuit over child (SMH) (Click to See)
Lesbians fail in lawsuit over child
July 25, 2008
THE lesbian mothers of IVF twin girls have lost a legal bid to sue their doctor for the cost of raising one of the toddlers.
The women, whose names have been suppressed, sued a Canberra obstetrician, Sydney Robert Armellin, for more than $400,000 for implanting two embryos instead of the requested one.
The ACT Supreme Court yesterday ruled in favour of Dr Armellin, and ordered the couple pay his legal costs.
The couple, whose combined income is more than $100,000, sought $398,000 from Dr Armellin to cover the cost of raising one of the girls, including fees for a private Steiner school in Melbourne. The girls are now aged four.
The court was told the twins' birth mother had lost her capacity to love and the couple's relationship suffered as they became mired in everyday tasks associated with raising two children.
Dr Armellin's lawyer said it was common for parents to experience a loss of freedom.
The couple said it was Dr Armellin's responsibility to ensure his patient's wishes were carried out at Canberra's John James Memorial Hospital on November 12, 2003.
Dr Armellin said the birth mother only told him she wanted one embryo minutes before she was sedated, after previously signing a form consenting for up to two embryos to be implanted.
Justice Annabelle Bennett said Dr Armellin had not breached his duty of care to the birth mother and was therefore not negligent.
The women did not mention in a conversation with clinic staff the day before the procedure that they wanted only one embryo implanted, Justice Bennett said. "The plaintiff had the right to choose the number of embryos to be transferred, they also had the responsibility to communicate that decision," she said.
- Court dismisses IVF negligence case (ABC News) (Click to See)
Court dismisses IVF negligence case
Posted Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:26pm AEST
Updated Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:31pm AEST
Lawyers for a Melbourne couple suing for the wrongful birth of their child have not ruled out appealing a judgement in favour of their Canberra obstetrician.
The women went to Doctor Sydney Robert Armellin for IVF treatment in 2003, but two embryos were implanted instead of one, resulting in the birth of twin girls.
The court heard evidence that the birth of the twins had a dramatic impact on the couple's careers and relationship.
They sued Dr Armellin, seeking $400,000 in compensation to cover the cost of raising one of their twin girls.
But today Justice Annabelle Bennett dismissed the application, saying the fertility clinic staff and the birth mother failed to confirm the number of embryos to be implanted and staff did not follow it up.
She said this meant that Dr Armellin was not negligent, and she ordered the couple to pay his costs.
The lawyer for Dr Armellin, Kim Burke, says her client is relieved but understands the court's decision could be appealed.
"Well I've not yet read the judgment so obviously we'll look at the judgment carefully to see whether there are good grounds and if we're advised by the plaintiff's representatives that they intend to take that step well, we'll take the appropriate steps ourselves," she said.
The lawyer for the women, Thena Kyprianou, says the couple are disappointed by the decision.
"They said that they're shocked and that they would consider their options further once we have an opportunity to read the judgment," she said.
- IVF negligence case shouldn't have gone to court: AMA (Click to See)
IVF negligence case shouldn't have gone to court: AMA
Posted 2 hours 5 minutes ago
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says the case against a Canberra obstetrician for the wrongful birth of their child should never have made it to court.
A Melbourne couple went to Dr Sydney Robert Armellin for IVF treatment in 2003, but two embryos were implanted instead of one, resulting in the birth of twin girls.
The women then tried to sue Dr Armellin for $400,000 to cover the cost of raising one of the children.
Justice Annabelle Bennett yesterday ruled the doctor was not negligent, saying the fertility clinic staff and the birth mother failed to confirm the number of embryos to be implanted and staff did not follow it up.
AMA ACT president Dr Paul Jones says the judgment is a good outcome.
"The AMA's view is that if there's an outcome which is a healthy, live baby that these things shouldn't end up in the courts," he said.
"I think the medical profession in general will welcome this case."
Dr Jones says ACT laws surrounding IVF treatment need to be clarified to avoid legal action.
"In other jurisdictions they've already moved, for example in Queensland, and I understand there are moves in New South Wales to change the law to clarify these very difficult points," he said.
The lawyer for the lesbian couple says they are still deciding if they will appeal against the ACT Supreme Court judgment.