Unborn child sues Austrian state over dignity of life

Other News Materials 2 August 2008 01:40 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - An unborn Austrian boy with an incompletely-formed spinal cord, has initiated legal action against the state in order to confirm the dignity of his life, Austrian media reported Friday.

The suit is in the name of Emil, who is expected to be born next week with spina bifida or split spine, a developmental defect that leads to an open spinal tube.

Emil's parents Sabine and Andreas Karg are seeking to overturn a Supreme Court ruling from March, which awarded damages to a mother whose child was born with spina bifida after doctors failed to detect the abnormality before birth.

"We just wanted to draw attention to the fact that a child cannot be a damage," Andreas Karg said at a press conference recently.

The couple from Lochau in western Austria said they initiated the lawsuit against the Austrian state for infringement of Emil's honour and dignity.

The Kargs stressed that they are not suing the state to stop the abortion of disabled babies. But, they would like parents whose unborn babies are diagnosed with similar conditions to seek counselling and think carefully before taking any action.