Also called “Wrongful Life”, these cases stir up intense controversy. Can any life be “wrongful”? Is it morally wrong to allow parents to abort an “imperfect” fetus? If we set aside societal judgment and community opinion and focus strictly on the law, we find that about half of the states recognize a claim for a doctor’s failure to inform and prepare parents that an infant will be born with a severe abnormality. While it is probably a misnomer, these cases are often called “wrongful birth” or “wrongful life” actions.
Wrongful birth actions are usually derived from the tests that doctors perform to check on the development of the baby at various stages in a pregnancy. These tests can detect abnormalities in the baby that parents may wish to avoid by terminating the pregnancy. This avoids a lifetime of pain and suffering for the child, and the enormous financial and emotional burden that would be placed on the parents.
Obviously, these cases create “battle lines” between pro-life and pro-choice advocates. There are intense personal, political, and social ramifications involved in pursuing a wrongful life case.