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Doctor sued by parents who’d have aborted child had they known about their disability

by | Feb 14, 2024

By SPUC, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

A doctor must pay compensation to angry parents after they “overlooked the child’s severe disability” in an ultrasound. The parents claim that they would have aborted the baby if they knew about their child’s physical disability.

The Austrian Supreme Court ruled that the right of the parents to decide whether they wanted to raise a disabled child was violated after the prenatal diagnostician hadn’t “paid due attention” to their unborn child’s physical disability.

The parents were reportedly furious when they found out too late that their baby was missing a left arm; the child also had a malformed chest and a shortened collarbone.  

The Court ruled in the parents’ favour and ordered the doctor to pay them $83,000, as well as all subsequent costs, making all doctors in Austria similarly liable in such cases.

Johann Hager, president of the Austrian Action Life, condemned the ruling. “Eugenic ideas – as in the case of wrongful birth – must have no place in our society”, he stated. “If children come into their parents’ lives unplanned, this is a big challenge, but one that can be overcome.”

Susanne Kummer, the director of a bioethics institute in Vienna, also denounced the Court’s decision, explaining that “the approval of abortion in Austria 50 years ago, which also allowed the abortion of a child due to a disability”, was leading the nation down a dark path.

“What remains is the perception that the disabled or unwanted child represents a harm”, she continued.

A SPUC spokesperson said

“Abortion enables a dreadful anti-disabled bigotry that ultimately seeks to euthanize children it deems inadequate. Doctors, who are supposed to preserve life rather than destroy it, are increasingly co-opted into this same urge to eliminate ‘problem’ people.

“We have already seen in the twentieth century where such eugenics can lead – when Austrian-born dictator Adolf Hitler authorized the killings of thousands of Germans legally considered unworthy of life, a precursor to the Holocaust.

“Western society is making the same mistakes that led Europe to disaster in the 1940s. We must turn back before it is too late.”

Categories: Eugenics