Imagine gazing at your child and coldly declaring, “You should never have been born.” Yet parents are doing exactly that in courts around the world as they bring “wrongful life” or “wrongful birth” lawsuits against doctors and fertility clinics.
“Wrongful life” cases are filed on behalf of the child, claiming that non-existence is preferable to living in a diseased state.
A 2003 lawsuit sought damages because Down syndrome was not diagnosed prenatally.
A 2009 case in England sought £1.5 million as a down payment on the care of Rupert, a 5-year-boy who was born with congenital heart defects, a cleft palate, a vertebral abnormality and a single kidney.
Here are some useful definitions:
1) Wrongful life means the the child sues the mother or other people for being born.
2) Wrongful birth means the mother sues other people for being burdened with a disabled child something she could have avoided. In essence wrongful birth suits are genetic or prenatal malpractice suits tort cases
3) Wrongful pregnancy means that you became pregnant or had a child period without wanting it (this happens if a pregnancy isn’t detected or a sterilisation procedure fails the difference between 1-3 in my eyes is that in 2) the child is damaging the mother.
in 1) the child him/herself can say they were wronged and they could at least theoretically say that based on their impairment or based on the societal framework.
3) is like 2) but not based on disability. Interestingly if you sue for 3) you will like in USA be compensated for the cost of e.g. the sterilisation procedure but NOT for the cost this addittional child will cost you till he/her is 18. But in 2) you will get payments for the costs the kid cost you (very likely lifetime costs). The rational for not giving child
related cost s to the mother in case 3) the non disabled child is that having a child is so great that you can’t get reimbursed for it. but in 2) in the case of the disabled child that argument of 3) is not used because having a disabled child is truly not a good thing and so you the mother were harmed.
In addition, there is case 4)
4) wrongful breech of warrenty means that a mother or child can sue because a bad embryo was used in the IVF procedure in the case preimplantation diagnostic is available. UK below opens possibility that child can sue related to preimplantation diagnostic
HFE Act1A; (1) (UK) In any case where
- a child carried by a women as the result of the placing in her of an embryo or of sperm and eggs or her artificial insemination is born disabled,
- the disability results from an act or ommission in the course of the selection, or the keeping or use outside the body, of the embryo carried by her or of the gametes used to bring into the creation of the embryo, and
- a person is under this section answerable to the child in respect of the act of omission, the child’s disabilities are to be regarded as damage resulting from the wrongful act of that person and actionable accordingly at the suit of the child.
Read the entire scandalous practice at When the Child ‘Ordered’ Is Not the Child Received. In similar connection, please see my Opinion comments on Abortion.