“Wrongful birth” roundup

Stacy Dow, of Perth, Scotland, is suing a hospital over the birth of her healthy daughter Jayde. Dow had been given an abortion at her request but unbeknownst to both her and the doctors she had been pregnant with twins, one of whom remained unharmed after the procedure. Dow told a court she suffered physical pain, distress and anxiety from the resulting pregnancy and Caesarean delivery; she also wants money for the cost of raising the girl to adulthood. (Sarah Womack, “Mother sues for birth of ‘aborted’ twin”, Telegraph, Mar. 21)(via KevinMD). The New York Times Magazine caused a stir last month with an article about a family that sued doctors over failure to recommend amniocentesis whose results would have led them to decide to abort their handicapped child (Elizabeth Weil, “A Wrongful Birth?”, Mar. 12). Ann Althouse notes an AP story reporting that there are waiting lists of parents interested in adopting Down’s Syndrome children (Mar. 10). And in the Dec. 2004 Journal of Legal Education, Gonzaga lawprof David K. DeWolf relates an extraordinary story about what happened one year when he assigned his students the wrongful-birth/wrongful-life case of Harbeson v. Parke-Davis, decided by the Washington Supreme Court in 1983 (via Childs). More on wrongful-birth suits: Mar. 4, etc.

One Comment

  • Would it be possible for a court to order that people who receive such settlements/awards forfeit custody of their child?