The March of Dimes website has released the findings of their international research department’s study of world wide birth defects. The official report includes staggering statistics, explaining that, “Every year an estimated 8 million children — about 6 percent of total births worldwide — are born with a serious birth defect of genetic or partially genetic origin…” While the official numbers appear to be lower in higher income nations, this percentage is unnerving when considered in the context of our health care system.
In our nation of freedom, we should be able to not only prevent these birth defects by way of higher quality screenings during pregnancy, but also prevent bringing a child into this world in such horrible circumstances. Parents must be able to prevent wrongful births and should be given the option to do so by physicians who do not interject their moral or religious positions upon their patients. The law in this nation stands as pro-choice. Just as pregnant women can choose to terminate pregnancy for a plethora of reasons, so should parents be able to prevent their birthing of a baby who may be born with a terminal illness.
The article from the March of Dimes includes a quote from one of the researchers: “The human toll of birth defects is even greater when one considers the impact of lifelong disability on children, their families, and society,” says Michael Katz, M.D., senior vice president for Research and Global Programs at the March of Dimes. If more doctors took a position that excluded their personal opinion and included an objective, professional opinion, then they would likely come to a similar conclusion as Dr. Katz. While Katz’s international research portrays a more worldly understanding of these issues, it is inexcusable for a nation such as ours – one with such good medicine and such freedoms – to do so little to prevent these birth defects and wrongful births.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by medical malpractice, you may have a claim for damages. For more information, please go to the New Jersey Medical Malpractice Attorneys page.
John R.Mininno, Esq. is a New Jersey and Pennsylvania trial lawyer representing clients in medical malpractice, defective products and other serious injury claims. He also writes about issues concerning patient safety. His offices are in Collingswood, NJ and Philadelphia, PA.