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Opinion: The wickedness and foolishness of “wrongful birth” lawsuits

$244,468.

That is apparently the going rate for your soul in Britain. Or at least it was the price Edyta Mordel charged for hers as she was awarded that much in the “wrongful birth” lawsuit she filed against the Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Trust.

Mordel had become “upset and angry” with the Hospital when she discovered that her son had Down syndrome. Had she known her son had the chromosomal abnormality, she argued, she would have spared herself the extra effort and costs, and simply had him aborted.

If anyone is ever curious the effect that a narcissistic worldview grounded in nothing but self-worshiping, self-focused impulses can have on a person’s moral center, look no further than this devastating example. Imagine being now-4-year-old Aleksander growing up and learning that your own mom, the woman you live to please and make proud, once sought and won a great deal of money by telling the world that if she’d have known you were going to be like you are, she would have killed you and tried for someone better. 

Civilized society can only hope that the innocence that so often accompanies those with Down syndrome will shelter Aleksander from ever having to grapple with the emotional and psychological trauma that knowledge would inflict.  Still, it doesn’t excuse his mom of her sin of creating it.

Not that Mordel is alone, of course. The United States has seen the depressing introduction of these kinds of appalling lawsuits as well:

  • In 2013, a Washington state couple won $50 million in a lawsuit after they argued they were denied information that could have led them to abort their disabled baby, LifeNews reported. The Seattle Times reported the couple knew they had a 50-percent chance of having children with the debilitating genetic disorder unbalanced chromosome translocation, but a genetic test failed to detect the disorder in their unborn baby.
  • In 2014, an Illinois mother also sued her doctor, claiming that he botched her tubal ligation and it led to the birth of her daughter who has sickle cell disease.

What this portends for the medical profession is alarming as it takes concerns over the scientific creation of so-called designer babies and dials it up several notches. Using advanced technologies and innovations to save the lives and improve the health of human beings is noble. But these kinds of cases seem to ensure that the medical profession is being hijacked by a corrupt culture that will use its advances to eliminate any and all life not deemed “perfect” enough.

Not to mention the escalated costs of care for everyone that will arise directly from the increase in malpractice insurance doctors will be forced to carry due to these suits.

Still, the greatest concern arising from the success of these cases has to be the continued diminishing effect they have on Western society’s view of human life. It’s bad enough to say, “a person with Down syndrome isn’t as human and isn’t as worthy of life as a normal person.” It’s unconscionable to enshrine that wickedness into judicial precedent.

If we are incapable of collectively shaming someone who wrongly suggests that a child with Down syndrome lacks intrinsic value, purpose, self-worth, and is actually better off dead, we’re in trouble.

If we are financially rewarding them for suggesting it, we are doomed.