The State of Israel and the health organization Clalit must pay a disabled 27-year-old man 9.2 million shekels (€ 2.3 million) in wrongful birth lawsuit after a court ruled that doctors were negligent during his mother’s pregnancy, writes the Times of Israel.
The lawsuit was brought by the man’s brother and legal guardian, who suffers from cerebral palsy and severe intellectual disabilities and was diagnosed with schizophrenia nine years ago after his mother’s death in 2011.
According to the charges, they have it state-run Galilee Medical Center and the health organization Clalit did not detect birth defects during maternal pregnancy in 1993 through routine tests.
Doctors also failed to inform the mother of the possibility of having the fetus aborted, despite knowing about her fragile mental state. In addition, the mother, who was suffering from schizophrenia, had also tried to terminate the pregnancy by the 29th week, but was told three days later to return to the hospital. The delivery took place the next day.
According to court documents, the woman was 43 at the time of the delivery and the pregnancy was not planned. She had previously given birth to five children, two of whom died when they were children – one from drowning in a national park in 1969 at the age of six, and one from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 1978. Her husband died in 2017.
In the lawsuit, Clalit was accused of failing to adequately monitor the fetus and perform genetic testing and not inform the mother of her options. The hospital, the plaintiffs argued, was negligent in sending the woman home when she attempted to terminate the pregnancy because she arrived at the hospital bleeding and had other symptoms that suggested she would soon be giving birth prematurely.
Lod’s district court accepted the arguments earlier this month and ordered the state and Glalit to reimburse the man and cover legal costs, Channel 12 said.
The Israeli Supreme Court in 2012 distinguished between “wrongful birth” lawsuits when parents sue the authorities, and “wrongful living” cases when children or their guardians sue, and disqualified the latter as grounds for action. The case heard this month in Lod was accepted as a “wrongful birth” claim, although the plaintiff’s parents are no longer alive.
Receive our newsletters for free!