In blog

I love this article. It makes me laugh and wonder just how gullible people think we are. (Clearly, very much so).


The JapanTimes reports –

The parents of a dead boy who had Down syndrome have sued an obstetrician in Hokkaido who mistakenly diagnosed an amniotic fluid test as “normal,” people involved in the case said Sunday.

“We lost the opportunity to determine whether to continue with the pregnancy or have an abortion,” the parents argued in filing their ¥10 million damages suit with the Hakodate District Court.

According to the complaint, the mother was told by obstetrician Chikara Endo in March 2011 that an ultrasound examination indicated her fetus may have a disorder.

The mother thus underwent the amniotic fluid test to get a definitive diagnosis in mid-April. In early May, when she was 20 weeks pregnant, she was told by Endo that her fetus did not have a chromosomal defect, even though the report from the agency that conducted the test noted that a defect had been confirmed.

The baby died 3½ months after birth from a complication associated with Down syndrome.

Endo, who runs his own clinic, has admitted that he erred.

“I misread the report as its expressions were confusing . . . I apologize for causing suffering to the parents,” he said in March.

The mother said she is suing because she doesn’t want anyone else to go undergo this kind of ordeal.

“I hope to inform the public that we have suffered due to the mistake of a doctor, so the same incident will never happen again,” she said.


The last line is what makes me wonder. The death of a young child is tragic. Consider however, had this baby been aborted owing to a more accurate diagnosis would it really be any less tragic? Would it be any less awful? Either way the story has the same sad outcome: the child dies.

The last quote is odd indeed. How on earth is taking someone to court for ¥10 million going to prevent doctors from making mistakes?


It brings to mind this. An article about an American woman who sued her doctor, arguing that he had not offered her a amniocentesis to establish whether her son had Down Syndrome before his birth. She further argued that had she known this she would have had her son, whom she loves, killed. (Is anyone else scratching their head? “Of course I love him. I am only upset because I didn’t have the chance to kill him that’s all.”).


I think Mr Chamsky raises an interesting point.

Defense attorney Tom Chamsky disagrees. “Patients who had disabled children in the past didn’t think of suing the doctor. . . . But as technology has grown, some women think that their child’s disability is someone else’s fault,” he says. Mr. Chamsky said the wrongful-birth field is “wide open” for aggressive lawyers “who see a new area of malpractice not yet explored.” Such lawyers may also gravitate toward another class of suits, called “wrongful life.” These are filed on behalf of sick children, claiming –like Job in the Old Testament narrative — they would have been better off never having been born. This gives courts the unenviable task of first determining the value of a person’s life, then calculating the damages that should be paid for having allowed that person to exist.


Wrongful-birth? What happens in the future when someone has a girl but wanted a boy? Or a boy but wanted a girl? Can “wrongful-birth” not only justify killing the child, but getting money from your doctor to boot?




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