Opinion piece: What price for a child?


What price for a child?
By Andrew Bolt
Herald Sun
February 20, 2009 10:32am

A YOUNG woman, call her Ms G, was rolled into the Canberra operating theatre on November 12, 2003, hoping to be made pregnant at last.

“Are we going to implant two?” asked her obstetrician gynaecologist, Sydney Robert Armellin.

It was at that moment of her IVF treatment that Ms G, unknown to anyone else, changed her mind.

And from her hesitation came not just a twin girl she didn’t want, but an extraordinary court case that must surely now force our politicians to act.

Can we really have courts deciding that a child is such a curse that a parent like Ms G. should be paid $317,000 for the distress and the cost of raising it?

Related coverage links with background of the story are on the left at the news website.

Dangerous precedent for medical profession

Everything is so backwards. Obama says it is a punishment for women to bear a child. These women and another couple have won court cases that awarded them damages for that ‘punishment’. ( first case -Failed sterilisations and the unwanted child: a new medicolegal minefield?)

I pray these children never learn of what these people did. What message does this send to other children? They read these stories or hear about them, too. Are they being made to feel unwanted as well, that they only cause distress and cost to their parents?

There is a legal concept called “wrongful death.”

The new concept is “wrongful life.”

If someone really doesn’t want a child the world is jammed with people who do. It’s another excuse to sue. She “changed her mind” secretly when it was too late. Try that in a society that isn’t run by battallions of trial attorneys.

Of course I agree with you. All life is God given, no life is wrongful.

Yet I believe I have heard of other cases where women who gave birth to babies with Down syndrome or some other congenital disease have sued their physicians for not recommending abortion, citing the child’s birth as a case of ‘wrongful life.’

Are both these children still with these parents?! If I were the judge, I’d be tempted to do a Solomonesque thing and tell the parents that the twin who “devastated their lives” would immediately be taken from them. Problem solved.

Yes, I would have too!

when children are made to order, and not accepted as gifts, this is what happens. The Church was so right with Humana Vitae and Donum Vitae.

Actually, in the common law of the US, there are three theories.
Wrongful life, wrongful brith, and wrongful conception. This Austrailian case is actually a wrongful conception case, becuase the doctors were negligent in the sterilization which is suppose to prevent conception. Most US jurisdictions accept this civil action, though they limit damages. i.e. no getting the money it takes to raise a child for 18 years.

Wrongful birth is more disturbing, it says that if a doctor is negligent in doing prenatal tests, ie. didn’t diagnios down syndrom, or another genetic desease, then the mother can bring suit to cover health care costs, arguing that if she had known about the genetic defect she would have had an abortion. many states allow this type of claim.

The worst is Wrongful Life. This claim basically says that a child can sue there parents for letting them live or be born. This claim is generally rejected because at the common law the courts cannot say that life is a harm.

All of these theories seem out of line with public policy, like telling children we don’t want them. Also it opens the door for litigation fraud, with parents saying they didn’t want the child, in order to get a lawsit from an insurer or a doctor.

I pray for the poor children


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