Parents Brock and Rhea Wuth were awarded $50 million by a Washington jury for the “wrongful birth” of their five-year-old son, Oliver. Oliver was born with an “unbalanced chromosome translocation,” a genetic defect that affects the little boy mentally and physically.
He is unable to run, walk up stairs, or speak more than a few dozen words. The Wuths’ attorney states that Oliver will need “24/7 care for the rest of his life.”
Oliver’s parents won their suit against Valley Medical Center and Laboratory Corporation of America. The companies were found dually liable in missing Oliver’s condition before birth.
The Seattle Times reports:
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.
There is much wrong in rewarding such a eugenic mindset. Both of Oliver’s parents have publicly declared, through their suit, that Oliver should never have been given his five years so far on Earth, much less an entire lifetime. They freely admit that they would have aborted him, solely based on his physical and mental disabilities.