Monday, February 27, 2012

Wrongful Life? Is There Such a Thing?

*Warning - This may be a controversial topic and the views in this post are strictly that of the blog author.*

At the top of this blog, you'll see a box that searches through stories in the news that involve Cystic Fibrosis. I like to read those stories to keep up with everything that's going on in the CF world. This morning I was quite shocked when I read the headline "Parents of child with Cystic Fibrosis file lawsuit against medical professionals."
My initial thought was, "Really? This must just be a misleading title" Nope. It's exactly what it sounds like. Its an article about a couple who had prenatal screening done and all the tests came back 'normal', but when their child was born, he/she had CF. The parents claim that they "were previously excited about the prospects of raising a normal, healthy child, were prepared neither emotionally nor financially to raise and care for a child with cystic fibrosis."

Guess what, neither were my parents, but they did it! And they didn't sue anyone for it! Sure they struggled emotionally, and I know they had medical bills up the wazoo, but they took care of me and never once have I ever felt like they wished I was never born!
To think that someone would rather not have a child or be a parent just because their child isn't 'normal' just drives me up the wall. It makes me feel like they're saying that any person with a chronic illness, chromosomal defect, mental illness, or anything just a little different doesn't deserve to live a life. I'm sorry, but I feel like I'm a productive member of society, maybe even more-so than some 'normal' people I know. Sure, my parents and I are pretty lucky because of how healthy I've been, but that doesn't mean that those who are less healthy shouldn't be alive.

I'm going to stop it there before I go too far or get myself too upset over something I cannot control. I just thought I'd bring this article to your attention and maybe get your reaction/feelings on the topic. (I understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I'm not trying to change yours, I'm just voicing mine!)
Do you think it's okay to sue the medical professionals after your child has been born 'abnormal'??

If you're interested in reading a fiction novel on this same topic, I strongly recommend reading "Handle With Care" by Jodi Picoult. It's about parents who have a daughter born with OI (Osteogenesis Imperfecta) and the struggles they face with her medical issues. It's controversial, but definitely very thought provoking.


  1. wow, that's ridiculous. I can't imagine that the lawsuit would go very far, considering during all of our genetic testing sessions we are specifically told that there are no guarantees that a child of ours would not have CF. How crazy. I sincerely hope that they do not win the lawsuit because that would open up a floodgate of potential future lawsuits for similar issues. I can't imagine how this poor child will feel when he/she reads about this or hears about it in the future.

  2. Holy cow! That makes me sick to my stomach.

  3. Megan - Somewhere in the article it did mention that several states have 'barred' these types of lawsuits and I feel that more states need to do that, as well. I can't imagine that they'd 'win' this lawsuit...but you're absolutely right about the poor child who will definitely hear about this when they get older.

    Cindy - I completely agree with you on that statement and I'm glad I'm not 'overreacting' or that I'm the only one who feels this way. Thanks for the support on this one. :)

    I also saw that Laura Manarik (Manarik Musings' author) posted the article on her Facebook page and there were many similar reactions to ours.

  4. The whole thing is so wrong! I read the article and the worst part is she didn't even ASK to be tested for Cystic fibrosis. She got the first trimester screening for chromosomal abnormalities which does not include CF. I got this test as well and it was clear that it was only testing for a few abnormalities and the results came back as % not a definite yes or no. For example, my chance of having a baby with trisomy is 1/100,000, but the test didn't say my baby did NOT have trisomy.

    Testing is a personal choice and they offer the tests for various genetic illnesses, but they do not automatically give them to you. The article states, "Scanson said she told Kerrie Evans about possible tests to take but the couple didn't ask for them." Not the brightest crayon in the box in you ask me and the poor child has to pay for being born less than perfect :/

  5. I actually blogged about this very thing (and very same book, in fact) quite some time ago. Here is the link, if you are interested in reading it (rather than me posting it all here):

    This post of yours was GREAT, by the way!

  6. Inhaling Hope - Thanks for bringing up that point, I didn't mention it because I didn't want the post to be a long, hateful rage, but I definitely agree with you. Things are hardly ever a definitely yes or no in the medical world...(sigh)that poor child.

    Jenny - Thank you for sharing your post with me! I just read it and absolutely love it, that's exactly how I feel about people considering my life a 'wrongful' one.

  7. Just terrible. I have a 5 month old little boy witch CF and I can not imagine suing a doctor because of it. Unbelieveable. They need to be happy for the precious gift they have recieved. :-( So sad!