Monday, March 4, 2019
"Wrongful Birth" Claims and the Paradox of Parenting a Child with a Disability- applying a therapeutic justice lens
Therapeutic justice in the Mainstream (Feb. 28, 2019): "Wrongful Birth" Claims and the Paradox of Parenting a Child with a Disability- applying a therapeutic justice lens, by Sophia Yakren:
Prof. Sophia Yakren discusses her new article in the Fordham Law Review on "Wrongful Birth" claims. She argues that the claim, which is typically raised by a mother with a child who was born with a disability against a medical professional who failed to disclose relevant prenatal information which denied her full information in deciding whether to abort the pregnancy, "likely has a significant anti-therapeutic impact on the individuals it is designed to compensate." She writes:
It is distressing enough for a parent to characterize her child’s existence as a harm in public; making matters worse, scholars, courts, and the media have also blamed and shamed mothers for following tort law’s lead in this way.
Although plaintiff-mothers often file suit because they lack the funds necessary to raise children with disabilities in an inadequate health care system, legal scholars have portrayed them as the messengers of discriminatory attitudes about disability and have even accused them of supporting eugenics. Further, scholars have condemned plaintiff-mothers for allegedly failing to embrace, accept, and love their own children unconditionally.
Noting that the current legal regime both stigmatizes disability and strains caretakers, Yakren's blog and article suggest needed legal reforms to acknowledge the complex reality and emotion strain of the situation.