wrongful life

noun

Legal Definition of wrongful life

: 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

Note: 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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