February 24, 2024

Belgian court approves “wrongful life”

Abortion law assumes the concepts, it argues

A Belgian Court of Appeal has confirmed
that parents can sue for “wrongful life” on behalf of their child. In a ruling
of September 21, the Court of Appeal of Brussels examined the case of a
disabled child who was born after faulty prenatal diagnosis. After noting that
“clearly the misdiagnosis did not cause the child’s disability, which
existed before the error and which could not be remedied,” the Court said
that, “however, the injury to be compensated is not the disability itself,
but the fact of being born with such a disability.”

“Thus, the child, represented by his
parents, can claim compensation from the doctors who, through their fault, have
injured his certain and legitimate interest in being the object of a
therapeutic abortion, since they were aware that his mother would have had
recourse to this if she had been informed of the condition during her

What justified the reasoning of the court was
the current abortion law. “The legislator must have intended to allow
women to avoid giving birth to children with serious abnormalities, having
regard not only to the interests of the mother but also to those of the unborn
child itself.” ~ Bulletin
de l’IEB, Nov 29

Michael Cook
wrongful life