Republican state Sen. Nancy Barto introduced the measure to protect doctors from so-called “wrongful birth” lawsuits.
Such lawsuits are sometimes filed by parents of children with disabilities who believe that doctors withheld information that could have led to the decision to have an abortion.
“When I first heard of this issue, I couldn’t believe that these lawsuits are actually happening,” Barto told KTAR last month. “That some couples, after they give birth to their child that has a disability, would claim that the child should not have been born, and would sue to get damages.”
“The lawsuits that are being brought imply that the physician is somehow at fault if the child is born with a disability,” she added.
Barto claimed that a doctor could still be sued if there was evidence of wrongdoing.
“If a doctor intentionally or knowlingly withholds information then a lawsuit could be appropriate,” she said.
This is a really interesting read for me though, simply because it raises the question of parents aborting children that they were intending to raise only because of a mental disability after birth. If that is the case (which it may seem to be) then that would raise some interesting questions on the part of the people. Frankly, given their position, I would be irate as well.
If a doctor told me that everything was perfectly ok with the child even though that doctor knew that the child would probably have a serious mental disorder then I would have to suffer the consequence from his decision for the rest of that child’s life. The sort of expenses that go with raising a disabled child (many different disabilites) could easily tip decision to abort that pregnancy to the red light.
I would like to say that this sort of conversation does make me a small bit uncomfortable when I do think about it, but I’m not sure if that’s simply me being conditioned to be uncomfortable about this subject, my sympathy to the families, or the thought that they wanted to have a child only if it was “fully functioning”. Granted, the decision is up to the woman whatever her reasons might be (I cannot stress that enough).
As for the law. Haha, no. Being allowed to lie to patients or wit hold information at all when the stakes are life or death is absolutely deplorable.