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The parents of a little boy with Down syndrome asked Thursday April 7, 2022 to the Administrative Court of Appeal of Nantes the hospital center of condemnAvranches Granville (Some) to pay them 250,000 euros in compensation for not recognizing their child’s illness before his birth in December 2017.
Smoking not considered
As a reminder, the hospital had actually assessed this baby’s risk of trisomy 21 as “1 in 1,452”; this “did not justify a more invasive investigation”.
Problem: The expert commissioned after the delivery found that the disease detection test had been carried out “completely in accordance” with the rules of technology “with few deviations”: The “smoking” of the child’s mother was not mentioned, for example, and it was ” impossible to obtain a correct measurement of nuchal translucency”.
The risk checked
According to his knowledge, the expert therefore estimated the risk of trisomy 21 in this child as “1 in 440”, a higher probability that Yoann XXX and Cindy XXX could have had a DNA test carried out.
At first instance, in June 2021, the Administrative Court of Caen had concluded that this “mistake” by the hospital “had resulted in them losing the chance of having their baby, rated “70%”, screened for trisomy 21″.
However, he had “rejected the application on the grounds that there was no evidence that an abortion would have been carried out if the test had been carried out under perfect conditions”.
No “characteristic fault” of the hospital
In the appeal hearing, the public reporter first recalled that it was necessary to prove the existence of a “characterized error” with “principal and probative character” in order to be able to assume the responsibility of the central hospital.
However, the magistrate – whose opinion is often followed by the court – recommended that the judges “withdraw [leur] Invoice” the “clear” conclusions of the expert.
The neglect of such information [sur le tabagisme de la mère, ndlr] can possibly characterize a simple error, but not a clear error.
He therefore suggested that the Nantes judges reject the child’s parents’ application “not because they do not justify a loss of opportunity [de pratiquer une IVG] “As the Administrative Court of Caen ruled at first instance, but “more fundamentally” because the Avranches-Granville hospital center “has not committed serious fault”.
Parents absent from hearing
The hospital’s attorney did not comment further at the hearing than those already mentioned in her briefs.
The parents of the little boy with Down syndrome were neither present nor represented by a lawyer.
The Nantes Court of Appeal, which has reserved its decision, will announce its verdict in about a month.
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