Quote from Sour Lemon
It does sound a little tricky ...but is it saying it's OK to lie to your patients, or just that patients can't sue for "wrongful birth" if a situation is not fully disclosed because it is not fully discovered or the severity of the condition is not fully understood? Would it even be possible to determine that a doctor intentionally omitted information in some cases?
I just had a fetal anatomy ultrasound, for example. If my doctor didn't notice or say anything about my baby's hypothetical defective heart and my baby was born sick, this bill would prevent me from saying, "I'm suing you for wrongful birth because I would have had an abortion if you'd caught and disclosed this condition." What if the baby simply wasn't in the best position for an accurate assessment to be made? My doctor did actually comment that they were unable to get one of the views due to position.
It's very tricky ... it all depends on whether withholding relevant information is the same thing as lying. In my view, it is. The whole point
of a fetal ultrasound is to determine if problematic anomalies exist. In that context, to refuse to disclose abnormal findings implies the absence
of such findings. Of course there are ambiguous studies that fail to show problems, but that's not what we're talking about.
Besides, if I had undergone such a procedure, I know I would be full
of questions - the first one being "Is it normal?" How a provider who wants to hide an abnormality in order to prevent a possible abortion would answer such questions without lying is beyond me. So I agree that the bill essentially makes lying to the patient legal and definitely unethical.