Friday, March 16, 2012

Couple wins $3 million in ‘wrongful birth’ suit: would have aborted daughter with Down syndrome


by Kathleen Gilbert

PORTLAND, Oregon, March 14, 2012 ( - An Oregon couple has won $3 million from a hospital because doctors there didn’t diagnose their daughter’s Down syndrome in the womb, making the couple miss their opportunity to have her killed by abortion.

Ariel and Deborah Levy argued that they would have ended the life of their daughter Kalanit in the womb if Legacy Health hospital in Portland had let them know of their daughter’s disability before birth, the Oregonian reported on Friday. Kalanit, now 4 years old, has two older brothers.

9 out of 10 children diagnosed with Down syndrome are killed before they are born.

The Levys say that they love Kalanit, but the hospital should pay for her lifetime of medical care because the chorionic villus sampling came up negative for Down syndrome. Their attorneys argued that the test had accidentally taken a sample of the mother’s own placental tissue, which wouldn’t have shown the chromosomal condition.

The jury handed down the 12-0 decision after six hours of deliberation. Lawyers for Legacy Health said they would be “reviewing the record and considering available options” following the decision.

As many as nine out of 10 children with Down syndrome in America are believed to be aborted.

Melinda Delahoyde, president of the pregnancy resource center network Care Net and mother of a Down syndrome child, lamented the verdict.
“Despite the verdict of a jury, ‘wrongful birth’ remains a contradiction in terms. However challenging the circumstances, every birth is beautiful because every life is a miracle,” said Delahoyde in a release Wednesday.
“As the proud mother of a son who shares the diagnosis of the child who became the subject of this trial, I pray that these parents will come to know their daughter, not as a medical mistake but as the perfect addition to their family that she is.
“What is truly ‘wrongful’ is that nearly 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome are quietly aborted before they are born.”

In September, the Florida parents of a child born missing two arms and a leg were awarded $4.5 million for the child’s “wrongful birth.”

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