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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 10, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Wrongful birth of disabled child: $50M verdict in line with the law

$50M verdict in line with the law

John Aaseng’s guest column against the recent $50 million verdict for the wrongful birth of a profoundly disabled baby seems to confuse different elements of the law [“Birth-defect lawsuit like a dystopian sci-fi storyline,” Opinion, Jan. 4].

First, abortion is legal in this state. The parents’ right to have an abortion, and whether that is morally correct or not, has nothing to do with the appropriateness of the amount of the verdict.

Second, much of the $50 million was awarded to compensate for the care of this child for the rest of his life, a cost which would not have been incurred but for Valley Medical Center’s negligence. The cost of this lifelong care is not going to go away. It will be borne by either Valley Medical Center’s insurance company (as is now the case after the verdict) or the state Department of Social Health Services.

Which would we rather have?

Attorney James Gooding, Seattle

Comments | More in Health | Topics: Birth defect, lawsuit, Valley Medical Center

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