PARIS, December 3, 2001 ( – The highest appeals court in France ruled Wednesday that children suffering from Down’s syndrome have a legal right never to have been born. The Cour de Cassation ruled that a doctor was liable for all the costs of the specialized care the child requires since the doctor failed to warn an expectant mother that her unborn child showed symptoms of Down’s syndrome. The mother was thus deprived of the option of abortion. The amount of compensation is to be announced later.

Commenting on the case, The bishop of Tours, Andr{197}{189} Vingt-Trois, the president of the French Catholic church family committee, “I think with great sadness of all families who have welcomed Down’s children, who have showered them with love and received great love in return. This ruling amounts to a declaration that such love was worthless.” Echoing his comments, Xavier Mirabel, of the Collective against Handiphobia, said: “Certain judges still believe that it is better to be dead than to be handicapped.”

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