A wrongful life action is a claim brought by a disabled child who asserts that but for a physician's negligence he or she would not have been born, thereby being spared the suffering of life. The action is inherently controversial because the alternative to an impaired life is non-existence. Lord Griffiths has described such claims as 'utterly offensive; there should be rejoicing that the hospital's mistake bestowed the gift of life upon the child'.' This paper cuts through the rhetoric that the debate has generated and analyses whether there is a sound doctrinal basis for recognizing wrongful life actions.
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