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Montana Panel Hears Wrongful Birth Bill

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A Senate panel is considering a bill that would prohibit the parents of children with genetic abnormalities from suing their doctors for withholding that information from them before birth.

House Bill 310 sponsored by Republican Rep. Cary Smith of Billings would prohibit lawsuits based on so-called wrongful life and wrongful birth claims.

Smith presented the bill to the Senate Public, Health, Welfare and Safety Committee on Monday.

Allen Smith of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association says health-care professionals need to be held accountable and the measure would decrease standard of care for pregnant women.

Supporters of the bill say the measure doesn’t apply to medical negligence.

The committee didn’t take immediate action on the bill.

The measure already has passed the House.

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