Should parents suing for “wrongful birth” raise these children?

Rhea and Oliver Wuth at nine-months-old (Court file, 2009)
Rhea and Oliver Wuth at nine-months-old (Court file, 2009)

Rhea and Oliver Wuth at nine-months-old (Court file, 2009)

Kristi Burton Brown for Live Action News recently reported on Brock and Rhea Wuth being awarded $50 million because their son, Oliver, was born with an “unbalanced chromosome translocation.” Just like the Levys, who won a “wrongful birth” lawsuit because their daughter was born with Down Syndrome, the Wuths would have chosen abortion for their son had they known about his condition. And it seems that the Wuths particularly consider their son to be a burden. Their lawyer mentioned that the child, now five years old, will need “24/7 care for the rest of his life.” 

I will admit that it can be frustrating that, as The Seattle Times reported, there was a mistake with the lab:

According to court papers in the wrongful-birth case, Valley ordered a prenatal test that can be counted on to find this type of chromosomal abnormality only when the lab receives additional information — a “road map,” essentially — showing it where to look for the specific problem. Valley failed to send that information to the lab, and never told Rhea Wuth that without the additional directions, the test results might not answer the crucial question.

Although the lab’s own procedures specify it should follow up with a phone call when such information is missing, that call was not made, said the family’s lawyer, Todd Gardner, of Renton.

The lab missed the translocation. Had the couple known of the genetic defect, they would have ended the pregnancy, according to court filings in the case.

The verdict is the largest individual award in Washington state history, according to Jury Verdicts Northwest, which tracks jury awards.

The piece also concludes with a statement from the parents’ lawyer:

The Wuths, who are both teachers, were “incredibly responsible” in seeking information and testing, Gardner said. “There was nothing else they could have done.”

Despite any kind of unfortunate circumstance of the lab being found of not doing the procedure correctly, it is worth wondering as to if the Wuths are really deserving of $50 million. Also, it is the kind of selfish, pro-abortion viewpoint that regards the Wuths as being “incredibly responsible,” especially considering they would have aborted their child. It also speaks to our society that demands, and wins, such a large sum of money for being wronged.

Kristi’s piece for Live Action News concludes with a relevant piece from Rod Drehar for The American Conservative:

This is a horrible case, no doubt about it. I agree that this family should get something for the expenses they have incurred and will incur in caring for their child. But the only way that is justified is if you accept their belief that the child should not be alive. We mustn’t minimize the emotional pain this couple is going through, but still, I cannot imagine going to court and claiming that I was wronged because I wasn’t given the opportunity to exterminate the disabled child I now care for. It’s gruesome.

I have to ask the Wuths, and the Levys as well, do they love their child? Some may be taken aback at such a question, but when parents sue over their child being disabled, a child they would have aborted, how can they look at that child the same way? Perhaps their disabled children will not be able to understand the concept, but that doesn’t make it any less shameful. Nothing says “you are a burden to me” more so than suing for and winning such large sums of money to ease the pain of having such a child.

There is a way though where the parents wouldn’t have to deal with such a child. If it really was so hard to have to raise a disabled child as the one they conceived, they could have very well placed him or her with a loving family. It may feel strange to give up one’s offspring at first, but it’s a lot less strange than aborting that child or bemoaning to the tune of demanding money. But then again, perhaps adoption does not ease the pain and burden as much as winning $50 million does. What a shameful culture we live in.

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