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Parents file ‘wrongful birth’ Down suit

MELBOURNE CITY, Australia (BP)–Two Australian couples have sued doctors because they failed to detect Down syndrome in their unborn babies and thereby prevented them from aborting those children.

The couples, both residents of the state of Victoria, are seeking damages for financial loss, the expenses of caring for their children and “psychiatric injury,” according to The Herald Sun, a Melbourne newspaper.

One of the children is 5 years old, and the other is 2.

In the claim of the parents of the 5-year-old girl, they said, “Had the presence of Down syndrome been diagnosed at the time of the first trimester ultrasound and/or at the time of the second trimester ultrasound, a time frame which permitted the termination of the pregnancy, then the (mother) would have terminated the pregnancy.”

Such instances have been dubbed “wrongful birth” suit.

The father of the 5-year-old says he loves his daughter and treats “her like gold,” but other parents of children with Down syndrome say the lawsuit is appalling.

“You love your daughter and treat her like gold, yet had you known she was Down Syndrome before you had her, you would have killed her? You wouldn’t have even given her a chance?? That makes me sick,” wrote one commenter on billandria.blogspot.com, a blog run by a couple with a Down child.

Another commenter wrote, “I knew that my son had Down syndrome since I was about 14 weeks pregnant and it was confirmed with the amnio at 19 weeks. It didn’t change anything!”
Compiled by Tom Strode, Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press.

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