The Arizona Senate has just passed a bill that immunizes doctors from lawsuits arising from withholding information on pre-natal problems that “could lead to a decision to have an abortion”. There’s just no end to this shit;
The Arizona Senate has approved a bill that would shield doctors and others from so-called “wrongful birth” lawsuits.
Those are lawsuits that can arise if physicians don’t inform pregnant women of prenatal problems that could lead to the decision to have an abortion.
The Senate’s 20-9 vote Tuesday sends the bill to the state House.
The bill’s sponsor is Republican Nancy Barto of Phoenix. She says allowing the medical malpractice lawsuits endorses the idea that if a child is born with a disability, someone is to blame.
Barto said the bill will still allow “true malpractice suits” to proceed.
If the bill becomes law, Arizona would join nine states barring both “wrongful life” and “wrongful birth” lawsuits.
Wrongful birth is a legal cause of action in some common law countries in which the parents of a congenitally diseased child claim that their doctor failed to properly warn of their risk of conceiving or giving birth to a child with serious genetic or congenital abnormalities. Thus, the plaintiffs claim, the defendant prevented them from making a truly informed decision as to whether or not to have the child. Wrongful birth is a type of medical malpractice tort. It is distinguished from wrongful life, in which the child sues the doctor.
First of all, who gets to interpret the bit about “could lead to the decision to have an abortion”? What qualifies? Are we really wanting doctors legally protected from not disclosing the results of amniocentesis or AFP screening? We’re talking here about a doctor withholding information, not about medical mistakes. So a doctor could deliberately neglect to mention a positive indication for, say, spina bifida, and not be legally liable?
It’s brilliant. If people making informed decisions don’t make the “right” choice there’s a simple enough remedy; withhold that pesky information and remove any legal recourse.
That’s an interesting concept of Freedom®, and an even stranger one of Morality™.
This is the year 2012, I just checked. You know, in case you were wondering.