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Are medical malpractice laws set to change for wrongful births?

For most people, finding out they are expecting a baby is a joyful experience that can't easily be topped. Sadly, that joy is sometimes diminished if they learn that the baby will have severe birth defects. For others, it isn't until birth that they discover the child has a birth defects. In that case, some parents have opted to file wrongful birth lawsuits as a way to get compensation that might help to cover medical expenses for the child. Washington, District of Columbia, residents might be interested in a bill going before lawmakers that might change that right.

The bill, called the Every Child Is a Blessing Act, seeks to protect health care providers and other organizations from medical malpractice lawsuits stemming from a child being born with birth defects in instances in which the parents would have rather aborted the child if the defects were known ahead of time. It has 36 co-sponsors that include members of both the Democratic and Republican parties.

For parents who have a child with a birth defect or disability, this bill wouldn't alter their ability to file other medical malpractice lawsuits, such as those for birth injuries. The does, however, seek to protect children from lawsuits that claim they should have been aborted.

A sponsor of the bill says, "wrongful birth cases are a waste of judicial resources." While this bill does seek to stop wrongful birth lawsuits from occurring, it hasn't yet gone into effect. Parents do still have the right to seek compensation for wrongful births. Knowing how to file a complaint with the court is the first step in being able to seek compensation.

Source: Patheos, "Bill against wrongful birth suits could protect disabled children" No author given, Jun. 04, 2014

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