Sunday's '60 Minutes' To Examine 'Wrongful Birth' Lawsuits
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 19, 2003
NEW YORK, NEW YORK--Sunday night, "60 Minutes" reporter Ed Bradley will examine the controversial issue of "wrongful birth" lawsuits -- those filed by parents claiming their doctors failed to warn them that their child would likely be born with a disability.
The CBS News report looks at two sets of New Jersey parents who claim they would have chosen abortion if their doctors had detected and informed them about the disabilities. The couples settled their lawsuits for large sums of money which they say they are using to provide care for their children.
The segment investigates the suits' effect on malpractice insurance rates, along with the legal and ethical issues involved.
Many disability groups see such lawsuits as outright attacks on people with disabilities -- that it's not even a matter of eliminating disabilities, but eliminating people with disabilities.
"It seems as though we are questioning not only the value of life, but the value of people who are not perfect," Anita Allen-Castellito, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, tells Bradley in the interview. "Realistically, how many children are going to hear that complicated story as opposed to the simpler message that 'I didnt want you, you're disabled.'"
Marsha Saxton, Ph.D., a research associate with the World Institute on Disability who has spina bifida, explains to Bradley: "The message is that these childrens lives are so miserable and such a burden to the family that the only compensation is millions of dollars."
Related article with video clip:
"Is 'Wrongful Birth' Malpractice?" (60 Minutes / CBS News)
"Wrongful Birth Lawsuits" (Inclusion Daily Express)