I have to admit that I am a bit hesitant to jump in the snake pit that is the discussion around the Wrongful Birth lawsuit that just concluded with a $2.9M verdict in Oregon. The parents stated they would have aborted their now four year old had the prenatal test successfully detected that she has Down syndrome.
At the same time, I wanted to issue fair warning to my high school guidance counselor – your paycheck is mine. You see, I went to Mr. Sandowski to help decide on a career path. With my requisite skills in math and science helped send me down the path of engineering. After four painful years of engineering classes – years where I gave up nights at the bar for the library – I ended up at a job designing electric motors in a rundown rust belt town. After a half decade drudging through dead end towns I finally had to go back to school to come out the other end as a “recovering-engineer”. I gave up a decade of my youth working too hard in things that did not enliven my passions, and I was nowhere near those fast-growth internet companies that made millionaires out of kids. And now I am way too tied down and burdened with a family and life to regain all of those opportunities.
So Mr. Sandowski, I am sure you steered many people right. And I am sure you did not miss on me simply because you had a late night the day before. But none the less, your advice took one decade of my life and permanently changed its course. Sure I met the love of my life in one of those dead end towns, but had I known how unstimulating those towns were, how unfun those jobs were, I could have simply thrown the wife and the life I have made away …and started over with some other life and an equally wonderful wife and kids (but obviously a better career path). If only it were as simple as changing my clothes, to change my life and all of the consequences of my choices (good and bad) – then I wouldn’t have to sue you. But, life is not that easy. And so you must learn the lesson that you are responsible for your actions and choices.
Mr. Sandowski, please do not try to defend yourself. Do not drag out these proceedings. This is not just a financial rectification, but it is also you taking ownership. You need to take ownership for your shortcoming – and pay me for the rest of your life – after all, how else can we move forward and make the best of what is to come?
Oh, and dear wife and kids – I really do love you. Nothing personal, I just need what’s coming to me…..I am sure it is going to be great.