Last week, the Alabama Supreme Court issued its decision in Hamilton v. Scott. The case involved a claim for wrongful death under Alabama law. Yet, this was not a normal wrongful death claim. Instead, it was a wrongful death claim alleging that a doctor caused the death of an unborn child who was not yet viable.
Alabama law already allowed claims for the wrongful death of an unborn child where the death occurred after the child reached viability. In Hamilton and the earlier case of Mack v. Carmack (issued last September), the Alabama Supreme Court extended the protections of Alabama’s wrongful death laws to unborn children prior to their viability.
This case is sure to spark some debate on an already heated issue. The on-line story from The Huntsville Times about this case already had over 125 comments at the time I read it. I am pro life. So, I applaud a decision that confirms the value our law places on all life. It will be interesting to see if a growing conflict occurs between this decision and current Federal law.
While I agree with the Court in this decision, I remain concerned that our courts and legislatures are still failing to fully value life. I say this as our legislature debates a bill that would greatly harm disabled workers (who already are often forced to exist below poverty level). I say this as our Federal government has far too often failed in its mission to protect us from dangerous drugs marketed to the public, a topic I have discussed on many occasions. The value and protection of life at all points should be a fundamental concern of our laws.