GENTECH archive 8.96-97


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Copyright 1996 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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   OTTAWA (AP) -- A couple has been awarded more than $2 million to raise two
sons they say should never have been born.
   The parents successfully argued in a "wrongful birth" lawsuit that they woul
have aborted the children, or never conceived them, had two doctors properly
warned them that any children they had would be at risk of being born with
muscular dystrophy.
   Both boys suffer from the Duchenne distrophy, a genetic disease that strikes
boys and disables and ultimately destroys their muscles. It is the most common
and deadly type of muscular dystrophy.
   The $2.1 million award was announced Friday, six months after a jury found
Dr. Arlene Rosenbloom and Dr. Gary Viner guilty of negligence.
   The jury said the doctors didn't do enough to inform the mother about the
risk that her children would be born with the disease. Family lawyers said
proper testing before the boys were born would have revealed they were at risk.
   They were not diagnosed until after the second boy was born.
   One of the brothers, now 7 and 8, already uses a wheelchair. Doctors say the
are unlikely to live past 30.
   The family's name hasn't been released.
   There were no celebrations when the mother learned of her award Friday.
   "It doesn't change the fact that my boys are going to die, and that they'll
be very ill during the time I have them," she said.
   In 1981, the mother took genetic tests because her brother had died from
Duchenne dystrophy. The defective gene is carries by women.
   Viner said his medical care was appropriate at the time and the jury didn't
understand the complexity of the case. The case "implies unreasonable
expectations on physicians," he said.
   The doctors have 30 days to