When DNA Testing Reveals More Than Your Ancestry


OMAHA, Nebraska. As more people are taking DNA tests to learn about their ancestry, these same DNA tests are sometimes revealing more than people may have bargained for. According to the Atlantic, DNA tests, for some, mean learning that the person you thought was your dad is not your dad. And in one recorded case, a mother who underwent artificial insemination learned that her doctor used his own sperm, even though he had told the family he would search for a donor with specifications the family requested. Children whose fathers don’t know that their children are not their biological offspring, could end up harboring their mother’s secret, a burden which can be tough to bear. For women who suffered medical malpractice at the hands of a fertility doctor, the road to a medical malpractice lawsuit or claim can be emotionally devastating, because it involves the genetic makeup of their children.

According to the Washington Post, when a woman learned that her biological father was listed as a doctor, she was initially confused—her father was not a doctor. The result sent the woman on a journey, one in which she learned that her parents had sought fertility treatment before she was born, and one in which she ultimately learned that the fertility doctor had used his own sperm to inseminate her mother. The family went on to pursue a lawsuit against the doctor for fraud and medical negligence. The situation, as one can imagine, is incredibly disturbing.

Rensch & Rensch Law are professional malpractice lawyers in Omaha, Nebraska who work with individuals who have suffered malpractice from a licensed professional. When it comes to the actions of the fertility doctor, the family is seeking damages for medical negligence, fraud, battery, negligent information, and for emotional distress, and breach of contract.

For the people who learn that their parents are not their biological parents through DNA tests, the knowledge can be devastating, both for the person learning the news and for the family. Some individuals who learned that their parents were not biological claim that DNA tests should include warnings that people might learn some shocking information. Some DNA tests like 23andMe and AncestryDNA include warnings about the possibility that individuals might find “unanticipated information,” according to the Atlantic. These companies claim that they have specially-trained staff available to talk to individuals who call the company when they receive unexpected results that could be disturbing. Do the companies have a responsibility to offer more? People who learn devastating information through DNA tests have started creating support groups to help them cope with their knowledge.

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of medical negligence or professional malpractice, you may have certain rights under the law. Professional malpractice can occur due to many factors, from misdiagnosis, to improper prescriptions, to intentional negligence where a doctor willfully violates a patient’s trust. Rensch & Rensch Law are closely watching the ways in which DNA testing will impact medicine and affect personal injury lawsuits.

Rensch & Rensch Law
7602 Pacific Street,
Suite 102
Omaha, NE 68114

Rensch & Rensch

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