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Connecticut court case takes up issue of when fetuses become people

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HARTFORD — A Connecticut wrongful death lawsuit headed to trial takes up the issue of when a fetus can be considered a person for legal purposes, rekindling a debate normally centered on abortion.

A couple has sued Stamford doctor Corinne de Cholnoky for causing the death of their 22-week-old fetus in 2011.

Melanie and Floyd Foster allege the doctor ruptured Melanie’s fetal membrane while trying to remove an intrauterine birth control device. The fetus was born alive but died less than two hours later.

Jury selection in the civil trial is scheduled to begin Thursday in Bridgeport Superior Court.

The doctor’s lawyer plans to appeal a judge’s ruling that allowed the case to go forward, arguing that de Cholnoky can’t be sued for the wrongful death of a nonviable fetus.

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