Sunday, March 11, 2012

AZ State Senate: Doctors Lie To Your Patients About Birth Defects

AZ State's Senate passed a bill that would essentially allow doctors to lie to women about birth defects in the name of preventing abortion. In theory, this law would make it legal for doctors interested in pushing their own agenda on parents to withhold information on anticipated birth defects they believe might lead the parents to choose to terminate their pregnancy. Opponents point out that "wrongful birth" lawsuits are rare and don't need to be combatted with their own legislation.

"Wrongful birth" situations most often occurs when a child is born with severe disabilities that, if the parents had been made properly aware, may have led them to consider terminating the pregnancy. “Wrongful life” suits, on the other hand, generally involve children born of failed vasectomies and other sterilization surgeries.

Slate spotlights the bill's slippery language:
A person is not liable for damages in any civil action for wrongful birth based on a claim that, but for an act or omission of the defendant, a child or children would not or should not have been born.
In their analysis they point out that the flimsiness of this language far too easily enables biased doctors to innocently say “oops,” when their politics have actually interfered with what should fundamentally be a parent’s choice.

Just a little gift from AZ legislators, ladies.  Hope you had a happy International Women's Day!
Sources: Jezebel; Slate

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