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Preborn wrongful death suit advances in Connecticut

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A Connecticut couple’s wrongful death suit against OB/GYN Dr. Corinne de Cholnoky is set to decide whether preborn babies such as the one they lost can legally be recognized as persons.

The couple accuses de Cholnoky of causing their baby’s death in an attempt to remove an intrauterine device, which ruptured Melanie Foster’s fetal membrane. Ten days later the child was born at 22 weeks and died within two hours.

James Rosenblum, de Cholnoky’s attorney, denies she was negligent, and attempted to get the case dismissed on the grounds that non-viable fetuses cannot be the subject of wrongful death suits, citing Roe v. Wade.

In August, State Superior Court Judge Michael Kamp allowed the case to proceed to trial. He noted that legal precedent in the state had not conclusively settled one way or the other, but that both parties’ medical experts in the case agreed that the baby was born alive, opening the door to his/her recognition as a person.

In 2008, de Cholnoky also lost a $38.5 million malpractice suit for excessive delay in performing a C-section for a child born with cerebral palsy.

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