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Public Statements

Issue Position: Rulings Affecting Medical Community

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Dobran v. Franciscan Med. Ctr. The plaintiff filed a negligent infliction of emotional distress claim after a mishap with the screening of his lymph nodes for cancer. The plaintiff, however, did not have cancer and, thus, was not in any physical peril. Justice O'Connor's opinion held that a plaintiff's fear of illness cannot serve as the basis for a claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Schirmer v. Mt. Auburn Obstetrics & Gynecologic Assoc., Inc. In this medical malpractice case, Justice O'Connor's opinion limited the amount of recoverable damages for a wrongful birth lawsuit only to those costs incurred in during the pregnancy and birth of the child. Economic and non-economic consequential damages are not available in these instances because the question in those circumstances forces a comparison between the child's existence and non-existence.


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