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WASHINGTON, D.C., DEC. 21, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Imagine gazing at your child and coldly declaring, "You should never have been born." Yet parents are doing exactly that in courts around the world as they bring "wrongful life" or "wrongful birth" lawsuits against doctors and fertility clinics.
These very sad cases are variations on the classic "wrongful death" medical malpractice suit. The twist is that the plaintiffs are dissatisfied because the patient -- in this case a child -- lived instead of died. Usually these children suffer from a serious disability or genetic disease. In a "wrongful birth" suit the parents allege that if they had been given a prenatal diagnosis of the child's condition they would have aborted their child. They seek compensation for the care of their child and punitive damages for having to live with a disabled child.
In these days when the order for a cup of coffee specifies the size, flavor, ingredients, and country of origin for the coffee bean, it is not surprising that some parents think they can do the same thing with their children. "I want one healthy male, intelligent with no genetic diseases, and no prospect of serious diseases in the future, please." When the child doesn't arrive exactly as ordered, some parents are taking legal action. See my latest article at Zenit: