Wrongful Birth Lawsuits Demean the Disabled

Pro-Life Wisconsin is publicly asking a legislative committee to ban "wrongful birth" and "wrongful life" lawsuits – suits which allow parents to sue for the "damage" of their disabled child’s birth.

Currently, Wisconsin laws allow parents to sue a doctor for damages if they can show a lack of information led them to give birth rather than abort their unborn (diabled) baby.

"Wisconsin must reject the sick and dangerous idea that it is better for someone to be dead than disabled," said Pro-Life Wisconsin State Director Peggy Hamill.

The Wisconsin Senate Judiciary, Corrections and Privacy Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 71, authored by Senator Neil Kedzie (R-Elkhorn) on Thursday. Opponents of the legislation claim that banning wrongful birth or wrongful life lawsuits will allow medical personnel – for example doctors and ultrasound technicians – to withhold information either on the availability or the results of prenatal tests which could indicate a preborn child’s disability and lead parents to abort.

"This legislation does not eliminate liability for a doctor who is negligent," said Matt Sande, Pro-Life Wisconsin Director of Legislative Affairs. "Wisconsin law provides at least three legal remedies in these cases, including filing a complaint with the Medical Examining Board, prosecution under the informed consent law, and negligence principles under common law," said Sande. "Senate Bill 71 would simply disallow a completely immoral, discriminatory and dangerous legal cause of action – wrongful birth and wrongful life."

"Doctors should not be forced to perform extraordinary and often dangerous diagnostic tests for fear of litigation by families and attorneys seeking astronomical financial settlements," said Sande.

Update: JivinJ links to an article on a related topic - a couple describes abortion of the disabled as an "act of love"!




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