600 Israelis are suing their doctors for not providing their mothers with details that may have led to an abortion.
“Wrongful life” lawsuits, in which doctors are held liable for not discovering fetal abnormalities that might have prompted parents to abort their child, have become so common in Israel that the government has set up a committee to investigate the issue, New Scientist reports.
According to magazine, wrongful life claims are more prevalent in Israel where a higher rate of genetic disorders caused by consanguineous (connected by kinship) marriages has fueled a “pro-genetic testing culture.” The county has seen an estimated 600 wrongful cases since the first in 1987.
While similar lawsuits in the United States and Canada are often brought by the parents of disabled children, it is common in Israel for the children themselves to demand compensation for the fact that they were not killed in-utero.
Asaf Posner, a medical malpractice lawyer who sits on the government’s Matza committee which is charged with investigating the issue, has obtained judgments averaging around 4.5 million shekels (about $1 million U.S. Dollars) for clients with spina bifida and cystic fibrosis.
Posner defends the lawsuits, arguing that the medical profession would “become corrupt” without criticism.