Rare prenatal testing case raises ethical questions
In the months before their daughter was born in 2007, Deborah and Ariel Levy worried the baby might have Down syndrome.
They say a doctor at the Legacy Center for Maternal-Fetal Medicine assured them that a sample of tissue taken from the placenta early in the pregnancy ruled out the developmental disability, despite the results of later testing that showed the fetus might have it.
But within days of the birth of their daughter, the Southwest Portland couple learned the baby did have Down syndrome. Had they known, they say, they would have terminated the pregnancy. Now they’re suing in Multnomah County Circuit Court, seeking more than $14 million to cover the costs of raising her and providing education, medical care, and speech and physical therapy for their daughter, who turned 2 this month. The suit also seeks money to cover her life-long living expenses.
The Levys declined to be interviewed. Their attorney, David K. Miller, said the toddler is as dear to them as their two older children but they fear being perceived as “heartless.”