Some states including Pennsylvania have laws that restrict the right of parents to sue for damages arising from the failure of a medical health provider to warn of medical problems with an unborn fetus. In Pennsylvania, the legislature has determined that suits of this type are not permitted because the theory of such a suit, is that the parents, if they knew of the medical problems of the fetus prior to birth, would have chosen to abort the fetus.
 
In Pennsylvania, one of the leading cases on this issue involved a hospital’s misreporting of a pre-natal diagnostic test. The test for Spina Bifida was reported to the parents as normal when in fact the results were mixed up with the results of another set of prospective parents. The child was born with severe Spina Bifida and the parents did not have the means to support this child properly. The parents position was that if they knew the child would be born with Spina Bifida the mother would have had an abortion. The Pennsylvania statute barred this law suit.
 
Up until recently, wrongful birth cases have been allowed in New Jersey– maybe not for long. 
 
Edward Shensky is a Shareholder and member of Stark & Stark’s Yardley, PA office, specializing in Accident & Personal Injury Law. For more information, please contact Mr. Shensky.