Roberta was washing the dishes. She looked down and smiled as she saw Liz, her 17-year-old daughter playing with her six-month-old grandchild.

Suddenly a pain shot through her body.

A memory she had repressed for 18 years filled her mind. Her body began to shake. The horror she had banished into the deepest recesses of her brain now loomed in front of her.

Eighteen years ago she was the same age as Liz. She had gone to the family doctor for a checkup. Lying undressed on the table, with a sheet covering her, she suddenly felt uncomfortable.

The doctor was touching her. It didn’t feel like part of the examination. But could she be sure?

The doctor continued. It became more intense. He climbed up on the examining table with her.

After, trembling and crying she got dressed and ran from the office. She never told her mother.

Nine months later Liz was born. Her mother helped her take care of her baby girl.

And now, 17 years later, Roberta was helping her daughter take care of her child.

Roberta started trembling. This time not with pain, but with fury. “The doctor must pay. He must never be allowed to practice again.”

Roberta reported the sexual abuse to the police. Charges were laid against the doctor. Eventually his medical license was revoked.

A year later, he died. Roberta told the story to her daughter. Then she phoned her lawyer.

“You must get blood samples from the body. We’ve got to prove paternity. My life was ruined by what he did to me. Liz and I lived in poverty. But now Liz and her daughter have a chance. If we can prove paternity, the doctor’s estate will be forced to share the estate with her as his natural daughter. He owes his daughter.”

The administrator of the doctor’s estate went to court to stop the blood samples’ being used as evidence of paternity.


In court, the administrator got up before the judge. “Your honor, don’t let her fool you, she wants money. The doctor had no legal obligation to support Liz at the time of his death. She is 17 years old, with a child of her own. If Liz wanted to prove that the good doctor was her father she should have had done it while he was alive. Tell her it’s too late. Leave the dead man alone.”

Liz argued, “Your honor, my mother was traumatized by the sexual assault that resulted in my birth. Years went by before she told the police. A year later the doctor was dead. Please, let the blood sample taken from his body be used to prove paternity.”

Should the blood be used to determine paternity? You! Be The Judge. Then look below for the decision.

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“ABSOLUTELY NOT,” ruled the judge. “I hereby order all blood samples and results of any testing that may have been done be destroyed. The tests should have been asked for while the doctor was alive.”