You’ve heard of wrongful death lawsuits. What about wrongful life? I’m Amy E. Feldman.
A woman in Washington State went to a health center for the injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera, but was given a flu shot by mistake. She became pregnant and gave birth to a baby with congenital birth defects that caused permanent disabilities. So, she sued for negligent reproductive health care and the state’s Supreme Court just upheld her award of ten million dollars.
When a person who seeks contraception that’s given negligently becomes pregnant, depending on state law, there may be three types of medical malpractice claims that can be brought: wrongful pregnancy, wrongful birth, and wrongful life, brought on behalf of the child with a birth defect alleging he or she wouldn’t have been born if not for the negligent treatment. Only four states allow lawsuits for wrongful life—California, Maine, New Jersey, and now Washington. We ‘ll see if other Courts are influenced by Washington’s decision.
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