Our culture, with its emphasis on individual choice and freedom, allows people to misuse our systems (and each other) for gain and advantage. There have been stirrings of legal claims like this one before, but I’m not aware anything so record-setting.
In summary, a jury in Washington state awarded $50 million to a couple who alleged that if they had known that their now five-year-old son had a genetic defect, they would have aborted him.
The couple had their child tested in utero for genetic abnormalities, and the test results indicated that there was a 50-50 chance that he would be born without any issues. But he was born in 2008 with “unbalanced chromosomal translocation”, which means that he has missing or extra genetic material, cannot walk and has an IQ of about 70. It appears that he will require special care during his life.
A fair result would have been to take the boy from the parents and place him with an adoptive family who will love and cherish him. Parents who publicly state (for mammon) their wish for the death of a minor child are not fit parents. They would have preferred to have been given the opportunity to kill him, when it would have been legal. And now they are profiting because they missed their opportunity.
And it’s not just the parents. This result wouldn’t have been possible but for 12 jurors who agreed that boy should be dead, and at least one lawyer who had the temerity to raise such an argument, and a judge who permitted the whole farce to happen. Cases like this call into question whether justice can exist in such a broken society.
Meanwhile, a little boy with diminished mental capacity may or may not understand that he was never wanted by his parents. So sad.