Monday, February 16, 2015

MBE Fast Fact: Wrongful Birth vs Wrongful Life

Let's be sure to distinguish these concepts as they do show up on the MBE:

In short, wrongful life means the the child sues the mother or others for being born. Wrongful birth, on the other hand, means the mother sues others (very often a doctor who fails to inform the mother of the potential for a disability) for being burdened monetarily with a disabled child. Wrongful birth cases are nearly always medical malpractice tort cases.

For purposes of the MBE, it's most important to remember the following: Most states reject a claim of wrongful life, and of the few states that do permit it, some would limit recovery to the special damages attributable to the disability.

In contrast, a cause of action for wrongful birth will be permitted in many states. Though allowable, damages will generally be limited to expenses incurred as a result of the child's disabilities.

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