I often answer questions on LawGuru.com, a website that allows people to ask questions and get answers from attorneys without retaining their services. The following is a question that was asked recently by a reader in Pennsylvania.
My husband was diagnosed with non hodgkins lymphoma when he was 23. The hospital he was originally treated at did not disclose that his chemo regimen could leave him infertile. In fact they went about it something like this, (after the chemo had started- and he was hospitalized for a few days up until this point- including in this convo) “We usually have our patients give us a specimen because this regimen of chemotherapy can leave you infertile. We had to get a rush on your chemotherapy so we didn’t have time to do so. I noticed that you already have a beautiful daughter, though.” What a slap to the face. I was stunned. We both wanted more children and certainly a son to carry my husband’s name. I didn’t even know what to say. This was the same hospital that blew off my husbands symptoms 3 to 5 times when he had every symptom of cancer and they said, “just take tylenol. ” He had 104.7f fevers. Do we have any basis to sue if his test comes back and says we can’t have more children?
Your concerns are appropriate. If you learn that your husband has been rendered infertile by reason of his treatment, you should consult an attorney experienced in the evaluation of cases of this kind. I’ll wager that there was a significant delay from the time the diagnosis was originally made until treatment commenced. If the usual practice is to take some steps to preserve fertility, what was the reason in your husband’s case for omitting this precaution. Surely, their decision was not based on their assessment that one beautiful child is enough. cases of this kind are subject to statutes which limit the time in which a case may be filed. If you learn your husband is infertile and wish to pursue an investigation of the potential claim to delay the consultation of a lawyer in your jurisdiction.
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