Prenatal Harm and the Duty of Care
In this article, the author explores the jurisprudence surrounding a contentious area of tort
law: wrongful life claims. These claims focus on the situation in which the physician’s
negligence lies in the failure to provide the child’s parents with the opportunity to prevent
the birth of the child. Historically, courts have been unreceptive to wrongful life claims, and
current Canadian jurisprudence on this issue lacks clarity owing to inconsistent treatment
of these cases by the courts. The author exposes errors in reasoning in two cases decided by
the Ontario Court of Appeal, noting that these cases add to the incoherence of the legal
landscape. She concludes with an appeal for Supreme Court authority or legislation to
clarify the law.
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