Law Dictionary

wrongful life

noun

Legal Definition of wrongful life

  1. :  a malpractice claim brought by or on behalf of a child born with a birth defect alleging that he or she would never have been born if not for the negligent advice or treatment provided to the parents by a physician or health-care provider; also :  the life or injury at issue in such a claim recovery for wrongful life

Additional Notes on wrongful life

Wrongful life claims have usually been rejected by the courts. The injury is not the birth defect, but the life itself, and courts are reluctant to declare life an injury. A specific calculation of damages for wrongful life would entail affixing a monetary value to the difference between life in an impaired state and nonexistence. There is no legally established right not to be born.


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