Palm Beach Jury Awards Couple $4.5 Million in Damages for
Child's disabilities, if detected, would have led to an abortion
Ana Mejia and Rodolfo Santana would have aborted their son, Bryan, if they had known ahead of time that he would have disabilities. They claim it was up to the doctor and technicians to make sure. Their "wrongful birth" suit let to the granting of a $4.5 million judgment in favor of the couple.
Mejia and Santana claimed they would have never have brought Bryan into the world had they known about his horrific disabilities. Had Morel and technicians at OB/GYN Specialists of the Palm Beaches and Perinatal Specialists of the Palm Beaches properly administered two ultrasounds and saw he was missing three limbs, the West Palm Beach couple said they would have terminated the pregnancy.
If this trial's outcome becomes precedent, it would be the duty of the obstetrician to detect any abnormality in time for the mother to abort him. Admittedly it does seem a gross oversight to miss such an obvious abnormality, but I am glad the doctor did miss it, for now little Bryan, who never chose his disability, will have a chance to sing his song in the world.
I am sure Bryan would rather be alive as he approaches his third birthday. He doesn't need $4.5 million, just parents who have the attitude that life is what you make of it with what you have, not parents who bemoan what they don't have and seek someone on whom to lay the blame. We have become an entitlement society, where if my life isn't all I wanted it to be, someone other than me is at fault. Then I sue them and live off the damages.
No wonder no one wants to be an obstetrician anymore, the malpractice insurance is astronomical, and those who remain in the field often pressure women into prenatal testing and abortion in case they regret their decision to give life to their child and turn on their doctor.
That attitude won't make Bryan succeed. He needs parents who accept him for who he is, not who he isn't, and who challenge him to achieve what he can despite his disabilities - like Tony Melendez.
Tony Melendez was born in Nicaragua in the days when Thalidomide was no longer given to American and European mothers, but was still prescribed to Latin American mothers to curb morning sickness. He was born without arms or legs. Rather than complain about the unfairness of his condition, which was preventable, his father sought to help his son. Tony's father brought the family to California to fit him with artificial arms, which he later discarded because he was so much better at using his feet. In high school, Tony learned how to use those feet to play guitar.
Soon, he returned to the Church of his childhood, and began to play at as many as five Sunday Masses. He was selected to play the guitar for the visit of Pope John Paul II to LA on September 15, 1987. It was as today, the Feast of the Sorrowful Mother.
Tony was nervous when he performed his song, "Never Be the Same," about his reversion to Catholicism, but no one was prepared for the Holy Father's reaction. He rose, jumped off the platform where he was sitting, walked over to the platform where Tony was, and reached up to embrace him. The audience roared its approval.
Since then Tony has crossed the world with his singing apostolate, married and adopted several children. It was my honor to meet and embrace him twice, his joy is contagious, he made me feel like his sister.
I just emailed him with a link to this story to ask him to contact Ana Mejia and Rudolfo Santana to give them hope that little Bryan can have a happy, fulfilling life. Tony radiates the peace of Christ, and if anyone can illustrate how to turn one's life around from self-pity and blame to self-help and service, he can.
From my experience raising my nine year old Christina, a child with serious cognitive delays and physical disability, yet who greets every day with a smile, I can confirm hat $4.5 million dollars can buy many things to make life with a handicap easier, but a positive attitude, can't be bought, it must be caught.
Often this hopeful spirit can be caught from a living example of a deep personal relationship with Jesus and mentors who don't take 'no' for an answer. I hope Tony Melendez contacts Bryan's family and becomes that mentor.
I hope that this couple makes a commitment to each other in Holy Matrimony, returns to the Church and brings their son in to be Baptized. With the grace of the sacraments, they can find the peace they were seeking with the lawsuit, and give their son the hope he will need to sing his own song of praise for Our Lord in his daily life.
Read the entire article here.
Leticia Velasquez, a regular contributor to Catholic Online, is the co-founder of KIDS (Keep Infants with Down Syndrome) and the author of "A Special Mother is Born."
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Mejia, Santana, Bryan, Disabilities, Wrongful, Birth, lawsuit
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More U.S. News
- Gay youths to be allowed to join Boy Scouts: Controversy rages
- Bridge that collapsed in Washington State was structurally unsound
- 12,000 homes damaged or destroyed in Moore, daunting road to recovery underway
- Eric Garcetti becomes Los Angeles' first Jewish mayor
- Violent Tsarnev friend killed by FBI after blaming Tamerlan for unsolved murders
- Homeless man whose face was eaten away in cannibal attack recovering
- Priests for Life: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Most Significant Legislative Step Forward
- In the Wake of the Moore Tornado: What Can we Learn from the Disaster?
- US Supreme Court Accepts Religion Case: Will Legislative Prayer Survive Religious Censorship?
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?