Alexia Harriton, 24, is seeking compensation from the doctor who misdiagnosed rubella in the first trimester of her mother’s pregnancy, claiming Olga Harriton would have aborted her had she been aware of the potential birth defects arising from the illness.
Lawyers for the Sydney woman argued in Australia’s highest court Thursday that Dr. Paul Stephens is liable for the costs arising from a lifetime of medical treatment that Harriton needs to survive.
It isn’t the parents doing the suing, it’s the affected woman. The courts have so far rejected the claim on the basis that it’s ridiculous to weigh nonexistence against an impeded existence, but several questions spring immediately to mind:
- How is she even filing this suit? The article is a little short on details here, but one would assume that a person “born mentally retarded, spastic, deaf, and blind” would lack the mental acuity and communicative capacity to do so.
- I’m not trying to be crass here, but how does a fat wad of money from a malpractice suit resolve an “I wish I’d never been born” situation?
- Were the parents kidding around, naming a blind child Alexia? I mean, it’s fitting, in a pretty twisted way, but only in the way you’d name a child with intestinal hemorrhaging Melena.
- When do the lawsuits for children of poverty start being filed? Surely the doctors should’ve advised the parents that they were too poor to raise the child comfortably. At what point is one’s life “comfortable enough” that litigation isn’t the solution?
Kinda puts “RIAA sues children for file sharing” in perspective though, doesn’t it? A few bucks of lost income: successful court action. Lifetime of suffering: bubkes.
Regardless, I’m going to take my usual position when it comes to people being pissed about science’s failings: think about where you’d be without it, and thank your lucky stars you’ve even lived this long.