JERUSALEM, Israel, May 29, 2012 ( – A panel of seven justices at the Israel Supreme Court ruled Monday that ‘wrongful birth’ lawsuits can now only be filed by parents of a disabled child. Previously, until the age of 25 children born with birth defects that could have been diagnosed prenatally were able to sue doctors for their own ‘wrongful birth.’

The first ‘wrongful birth’ case was filed in Israel in 1987, and since then there has been an estimated 600 similar cases, according to New Scientist, with the numbers of such cases rising significantly in recent years.


Monday’s ruling says that only parents can file wrongful life cases to receive compensation for the costs of raising a child with disabilities who they would otherwise have aborted, had they been told about the disability.

According to Haaretz, the justices of the Supreme Court decided to make this restriction to the law saying that there are ethical problems with ‘wrongful birth’ cases, which they said damage the value of life by telling a disabled person that they are better off not being born.

Parents wishing to receive compensation for their disabled child will now have to prove that the birth defect caused the disabilities their child suffers from. They must also be able to prove that had they known about the defect, they would have applied to the abortion committee at the hospital to abort their child.

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