With a number of parents turning to the courts to sue after unexpectedly giving birth to a child with a disability, several states are considering legislation to ban “wrongful birth” suits.
Lawmakers from Arizona to New Jersey are looking to sharply limit the ability of parents to pursue legal action against doctors when their children are born with conditions ranging from Down syndrome to genetic diseases like Tay-Sachs.
The efforts come just months after an Oregon couple made headlines when a jury awarded them almost $3 million over claims that their daughter was born with Down syndrome despite assurances from doctors that prenatal testing for the condition came back negative.
Proponents of the bills argue that parents should not be able to bring a case under the presumption that the life of a child with a disability is somehow worth less than others.
Parents who have brought such suits counter, however, that for them the issue comes down to quality of life for the child.
Critics of the bills say they’re also concerned that by banning “wrongful birth” suits, lawmakers could open the door for doctors to withhold information from parents without facing any recourse, reports NPR. To read more click here.