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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wrongful birth

From the St. Petersburg Times-

TAMPA - From the moment their son was born, Amara and Daniel Estrada knew he would suffer. Baby Aiden had webbed toes, a cleft palate, low-set ears, a small head and genitals so tiny doctors had a tough time determining his gender.

The Estradas turned to the University of South Florida's chief geneticist for answers. Dr. Boris Kousseff couldn't pinpoint a specific diagnosis but told the couple their future pregnancies should produce healthy children.

On Nov. 18, 2004, Caleb Estrada came into the world with nearly the same birth defects as his brother. His devastated parents sued the doctor and university for his "wrongful birth."

On Monday, a jury awarded $23.5-million to the Estradas, who said they would have terminated the pregnancy or adopted if they had known of the risk for the genetic disorder's reoccurrence.

The Estradas are guaranteed only $200,000. Because USF is a government entity protected by sovereign immunity, the couple must ask the state Legislature to pass a claims bill granting them the remainder of the verdict.

"It's going to be a long road, but I'm glad this part is over," said a tearful Amara Estrada, 36.

Aiden and Caleb Estrada, now 5 and 2, are mentally retarded. They will never be able to care for themselves. They eat with a feeding tube and cannot speak. Aiden recently began walking short distances; experts are not sure if Caleb ever will.

They have Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, a genetic disorder first diagnosed in 1964. The syndrome affects an estimated 1 in 20,000 to 60,000 newborns, who are unable to produce enough cholesterol for healthy development.

Within an hour of Caleb's birth, doctors at Shands Hospital in Gainesville diagnosed the syndrome in the baby and told the Estradas their older son likely suffered from the same thing.

But the diagnosis eluded Kousseff during the two years he treated Aiden.
I have very mixed feelings about this story. The parents were suing saying they would have aborted their son if they had known what was wrong. I'm personally opposed to abortion(Though I'm pretty ambivalent about it politically. I prefer if mothers wouldn't do this procedure rather than have a law passed taking that option away from them), so I feel how can a parent wish they didn't have a child that is living today.

Then I think of how it is for the Estradas to care for t heir sons. My son Daniel was born premature, and who knows what medical issues he would have had. Dear wife and I would want nothing more but to have our son alive, but how would it be for us if Daniel was sick like the Estrada boys?

As to getting the settlement money from the state, its a pipe dream. For political reasons, it won't just happen. If I was the Estradas I wouldn' t spend more money(They are saying they will hire a lobbyist to help persuade the legislature. That would cost money) pursuing something that almost certainly won't happen. Rather Amara and Daniel Estrada should use what money they got to care for Aiden and Caleb. No matter the outcome, God bless this family.

Linked to- Bullwinkle, Outside the Beltway, Pursuing Holiness, The World According to Carl,

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