Justice Donald C. Wintersheimer Digital Collection
Sharon A. and Al Schork v. Charles M. Huber, MD
Dr. Huber performed a sterilization procedure on Sharon A. Schork in 1977, assuring her that such a procedure was 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. After sterilization, she returned to the doctor for a checkup, and he advised her she was sterile. Shortly thereafter she began to experience what she thought was a miscarriage, but the doctor again reassured her that she was sterile without any testing. Several months later she discovered that she was pregnant. A healthy boy was born in 1978. Subsequently, the parents sued the doctor. In addition to the usual claims for damages resulting from medical malpractice, the parents sought to recover the costs of raising the child. The lower courts dismissed that claim.
The Court held that, "the parents of a normal healthy child whom they now love have not suffered any injury or damage. The benefits conferred by the child's existence clearly outweigh any economic burden involved. The claimed injury is far too speculative and remote to be reasonably connected to the alleged negligence....That a child can be considered as an injury offends fundamental concepts attached to human life."