Autism and Medical Malpractice

Malpractice Abstract

Autism is a medical condition which involves significant impairments in the cognitive development of young children, particularly in terms of social and communicative skills. While the specific effects of this medical condition can vary significantly, with some individuals experiencing extremely mild symptoms and others seeing their whole life changed as a result of their condition, for most individuals with autism or an autism spectrum disorder, their condition does pose significant challenges.

The current medical understanding of autism’s causes is incomplete and constantly subject to revision. Many scientists and researchers suspect that genetics play a large part in the development of the condition, but no single gene or combination of genes has yet been identified as conclusively causing autism. Furthermore, many of these researchers are coming to the conclusion that outside factors or a combination of factors may be largely responsible for the development of autism.

Among the factors which may potentially be related to the development of autism in young children, one of the most disturbing is medical malpractice. A number of different mistakes on the part of a medical professional during a woman’s pregnancy, the delivery process, or even after the child has been born may contribute to the possibility of a child developing an autism spectrum disorder.

How Medical Malpractice May Cause Autism

While no definitive link has been established between cases of medical malpractice and the development of autism spectrum disorders, some of the following have been informally linked to these types of conditions by a number of different research studies:

  • Ÿ  Difficult births resulting in prenatal stress
  • Ÿ  Delivery errors resulting in cranial hemorrhaging
  • Ÿ  Failure to recognize and diagnose conditions which may increase autism’s likelihood of developing

These are just some of the ways in which medical malpractice may contribute to the likelihood that a child will develop an autism spectrum disorder.

The impact that autism can have on the lives of a child and their family can be extremely consequential, potentially requiring parents or other family members to take significant time off of their work and resulting in costly medical care to help treat some of the symptoms of autism. Fortunately, families who have undergone this traumatic experience may be entitled to pursue compensation for their damages. Contact a medical malpractice attorney to learn more about your legal rights and options and whether or not you may have a case for legal action.


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