New Alberta law will permit some lawsuits against mothers

  1. Alberta has become the first province in Canada to enact legislation allowing children to sue their mothers for injuries suffered in the womb. But the law applies only to damage suffered in car accidents.

    Lisa Rewega was pregnant when she was in a car accident five years ago while on her way to church. "I just felt so great, everything was perfect and I just never made it there. I hit black ice. I was five months pregnant."

    In a ruling six years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada said a child can't sue its mother for damages suffered in the womb. But the ruling also left a small and very narrow loophole, saying provinces could allow a child to sue its mother, but only in the case of a car accident.
    http://sympatico.msn.cbc.ca/story/ca...uit051202.html
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   mercyteapot
    Does insurance work differently in Canada than it does here in the states? Wouldn't your own insurance pay for your child's medical care (up to the policy limit, anyway) here, or am I wrong about that? At any rate, I have no problem at all with children being allowed to sue their mothers for damages caused by things like smoking and drinking (the article mentioned the potential for "abuse of civil rights"... it is a civil right to expose your own unborn child to known dangers???)
  4. by   HeartsOpenWide
    :angryfire For a car accident....key word accident. I could justify smoking or drinking while pregnant as a basis to sue, but a car accident. BAWK!
    Last edit by HeartsOpenWide on Dec 4, '05
  5. by   VeryPlainJane
    Quote from mercyteapot
    Does insurance work differently in Canada than it does here in the states? Wouldn't your own insurance pay for your child's medical care (up to the policy limit, anyway) here, or am I wrong about that? At any rate, I have no problem at all with children being allowed to sue their mothers for damages caused by things like smoking and drinking (the article mentioned the potential for "abuse of civil rights"... it is a civil right to expose your own unborn child to known dangers???)
    Mercy, I believe that she is prob. under their nationalized health care and the govt is just looking to collect monies for the child's care from the mothers car ins. I do find it odd that it's only for car accidents.
  6. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from mercyteapot
    I have no problem at all with children being allowed to sue their mothers for damages caused by things like smoking and drinking (the article mentioned the potential for "abuse of civil rights"... it is a civil right to expose your own unborn child to known dangers???)
    How about smoking and drinking when you didn't know you were pregnant?

    Or how about if a mother doesn't take enough folate while she was pregnant? Perhaps because she couldn't afford to and the kid's born with a defect?
  7. by   fergus51
    No, the way this works has nothing to do with the government getting any money. If Alberta is the same as BC and Ontario, children have the right to collect money against the parent's insurance policy if they are injured in an accident. This is just extending that legal right to a fetus. The money would still belong to the child or their guardian and could be used for anything they wanted (most likely medical costs not covered by the provincial health plan).
  8. by   fergus51
    Quote from VeryPlainJane
    Mercy, I believe that she is prob. under their nationalized health care and the govt is just looking to collect monies for the child's care from the mothers car ins. I do find it odd that it's only for car accidents.
    The government doesn't have the standing to sue, so they can't recoup any costs. Really, I don't even know where such money would go if they could.
  9. by   fergus51
    Quote from mercyteapot
    Does insurance work differently in Canada than it does here in the states? Wouldn't your own insurance pay for your child's medical care (up to the policy limit, anyway) here, or am I wrong about that? At any rate, I have no problem at all with children being allowed to sue their mothers for damages caused by things like smoking and drinking (the article mentioned the potential for "abuse of civil rights"... it is a civil right to expose your own unborn child to known dangers???)
    The Canadian courts have ruled again and again that women can do whatever they want (as long as it's legal) when they are pregnant. It's pretty hard to allow abortion, but then charge a woman with a crime for drinking but not aborting.
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from fergus51
    The Canadian courts have ruled again and again that women can do whatever they want (as long as it's legal) when they are pregnant. It's pretty hard to allow abortion, but then charge a woman with a crime for drinking but not aborting.
    Yeah, that is a hard argument to make.

    Hmmm . . . my mom smoked during her entire pregnancy with me and my siblings for that matter. Both parents smoked, in the home and in the car, all throughout my childhood. My mom lived with us for about 5 years and smoked - granted in her room but the whole house reeked of cig smoke. My mom is living on Social Security Disability - yeah, I should really sue her.

    The only negative health effect I can think of is I had alot of ear infections as a kid and my 3 older kids had them too when she was living with us. My youngest son has had one. No smoker in the house with him.

    steph
  11. by   mercyteapot
    I do hope that as health care professionals, we're not going to have the debate about whether or not it is a good idea to smoke around children. Because here's the thing... it ISN'T! Hooray for those children that have been exposed and haven't suffered (although I've had ear infections, and I consider them to be suffering) any negative effects. But really, smoking around kids is badbadbad...
  12. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from mercyteapot
    I do hope that as health care professionals, we're not going to have the debate about whether or not it is a good idea to smoke around children. Because here's the thing... it ISN'T! Hooray for those children that have been exposed and haven't suffered (although I've had ear infections, and I consider them to be suffering) any negative effects. But really, smoking around kids is badbadbad...
    I completely agree with you. Hence the stuff about ear infections.

    My oldest and #2 son had ear infections all the time - my mom lived with us. My doc told me to tell my mom not to smoke around the kids. I said, "doc, you try to tell my mom that - she doesn't believe me and she does whatever she wants to do". It could get ugly - believe me.

    I'm just so grateful she has her own home now. Unbelievably grateful in so many ways . . .


    steph

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