STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2012 SESSION
Assemblyman MICHAEL PATRICK CARROLL
District 25 (Morris and Somerset)
Provides immunity against "wrongful birth" and "wrongful life" suits.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel
An Act concerning certain civil actions and supplementing Title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. No person or entity, including any physician or health care professional licensed in this State, shall be liable for damages in any action which alleges the "wrongful birth" or "wrongful life" of a child, including, but not limited to, actions arising out of the following circumstances:
a. The failure to suggest or advise that a person undergo an abortion; or
b. The failure to suggest or advise that a person undergo genetic testing of a fetus.
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill would eliminate lawsuits against any person or entity, including physicians and other health care providers, on grounds of "wrongful birth" or "wrongful life." The bill also bans lawsuits arising out of a failure to suggest or advise that a person undergo an abortion, or that a person undergo genetic testing of a fetus.
Currently, "wrongful birth" and "wrongful life" lawsuits may be brought by parents of children with birth defects and genetic diseases on grounds that the doctors' negligence in failing to diagnose the condition before birth deprived the parents of the option to abort the fetus.
The sponsor believes that doctors and other persons should never be penalized for failing to suggest an abortion, or for failing to perform genetic testing which may lead to an abortion.