SINGAPORE, September 30, 2004 ( – The mother of a child with Down’s Syndrome is suing the delivery doctor in a ‘wrongful birth’ suit, the first such for the city state of Singapore. Katharine Soh Lea Chin, 47, is launching a lawsuit against her obstetrician, Dr. See Tho Kai Yin. The woman is seeking $700,000 (US$409,000) in damages.

The concept of wrongful birth is vigorously opposed by disability advocates organizations that say that it inevitably decreases the dignity and perceived value of persons with disabilities. In January 2002 the French National Assembly passed legislation to outlaw such lawsuits. The law states “nobody can claim to have been harmed simply by being born.”

Similarly, in April of this year, an Australian court ruled that doctors are not responsible for the costs of caring for a child if they did not inform the parents that the child might be born with disabilities. The ruling said that finding in favour of the parents in the case would send the wrong message about the sanctity of life. A judge in the case wrote that the parent’s claim did not “reflect values generally, or even widely, held in the community.”