Have you heard of this "successful" wrongful birth suit in Ohio?
In Ohio and approved by their Supreme Court, there is a '"wrongful birth" suit against doctors by parents who say they would have aborted their child had they not been given inaccurate genetic counseling,' without considerations for the 'damages payable [which] should include the cost of raising the child through adulthood, plus pain and suffering, ' although 2 of the 4 justices felt that, too, was appropriate. As it is, the 4-3 decision limited such lawsuits to costs associated with a pregnancy and the birth of the child.
Okay, kinda, half way, mixed bag hooey on the decision, huh? Those justices really stepped up to the plate on that one. A fine line.
Although I'm not going on a rant, a quote in this article got under my skin: "It is simply a question of whether or not a person is better off dead than disabled," said Sen. David Goodman (R., Bexley). "I think it is an atrocious and unacceptable question to ask a jury or a judge, whether they should be playing God, basically."
There is now a bill in Ohio to try to give the medical profession the benefit of the doubt: "The Ohio bill protects doctors from suits alleging negligence in reading prenatal testings, failing to order such tests, or otherwise missing signs of trouble."
Further, "Six states, including neighboring Pennsylvania, have adopted prohibitions on wrongful birth suits brought by mothers, or "wrongful life" suits in cases brought by the children living with the defects."
"BACKGROUND: Helen Schirmer and her husband Richard wanted to have a child, but knew that Helen carried a genetic disorder known as Trisomy 22. While Helen did not suffer from the disorder, which causes mental retardation and multiple, severe physical disabilities, she knew there was a one-in-three chance that any child she bore would exhibit the active form, and that a son would be more likely than a daughter to do so....Specialists at the Children's Hospital Medical Center (CHMC) in Cincinnati who performed the test and interpreted the results informed the Schirmers that the fetus was probably female and exhibited the same inactive form of the Trisomy 22 trait as the mother....In September 1997, Helen delivered a son, Matthew, who was born with multiple, severe physical and mental impairments as a result of the active Trisomy 22 genetic defect. At the age of six, Matthew remained unable to speak, stand or crawl independently, and unable to feed, bathe or toilet himself. "
This Kentucky couple who used that Cincinnati hospital specifically wanted screen for a genetic defect that the mother has. That's not some shotgun blast diagnostic voodoo going on; that's one particular defect for which they wanted data. This case isn't just an oversight on broad, generic genetic testing. This is a case of error for one specific genetic disorder that could be passed on in some form. CHMC didn't even get the sex right.
I am guessing that the parents did chorionic villi testing and the medical professionals got the mother's tissue instead of the fetus' as the test indicated the same condition/gender as the mother. This should have been a red flag right away to practioners and, at the least, an amnio could have been done. Speculation, yes.
I do not see why a wrongful birth suit is wrong. It is as if parents of a fetus to not have the basic right to good, accurate healthcare. Why is this circumstance any different than any other medical malpractice? Negligence is negligence. And if one wants to argue that the fetus isn't a person, well, the parents are and they were the ones seeking care.
There is also a dilemma here regarding the personhood of a fetus. If this was a Republican bill (plus that one Democrat) in Ohio, it doesn't seem to add up with the common Republican and Religious Right agenda. (I realize the two are not necessarily the same.) Another fine line. If fetuses are all gifts worthy of being born, why are they not worthy of having competent healthcare and diagnostic techniques? And why are those doing testing on the fetus exempt from malpractice with mistakes?
If the bottom line is to not abort, then, honestly, R&RR should outlaw prenatal testing completely. That would be preventative in a twofold means: nobody would know about fetal anomalies until too late and nobody would be able to abort on that premise.
So watch out, ladies. They want your dildocams.
To be clear, tho, not all prenatal diagnoses are merely information on whether to abort or not. In the case of open NTDs, knowledge of that ahead of time ensures the proper team is available at birth. It also would indicate a c-section, as much of the damage done to NTDs is in the birthing process. See, R&RR, not all prenatal testing is bad.
Thank goodness Wal-Mart is helping to nip unwanted pregnancies in the bud. R&RR lost on that account. I'm glad, b/c it pains me to get NARAL emails all the time and feel so helpless.