Mark Strasser


One of the most controversial birth-related torts is the wrongful life action in which a plaintiff sues for damages, claiming that he would have been better off never having lived at all and, but for defendant's negligence, would not in fact have lived. Most jurisdictions refuse to recognize this cause of action. However, the justifications for those refusals are often unpersuasive, since the acceptance of those rationales would imply that other existing practices must be changed. For example, although wrongful life and wrongful birth are different actions involving different duties and harms, many of the rationales for and against recognizing the former apply with equal force to the latter. If the arguments against recognizing wrongful life are persuasive, then the continued recognition of wrongful birth claims may be in jeopardy

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