The way of all flesh : a philosophical study of tort action for wrongful life, with cases
Although it is for many reasons a philosophically interesting subject, very few philosophers have addressed tort action for "wrongful life" - the unhappy and misleading name given to those actions in which a child (typically by his mother guardian ad litem) sues a health-care provide for having failed to facilitate either the prevention of his (infant-plaintiff's) conception or his birth. The few philosophers who have discussed this cause of action evince minimal familiarity with either the leading cases or the secondary legal literature; and, what's more, these few have so far addressed in detail only one of a number of issues raised by the action. It is noteworthy that - although this action threatens to continue to press itself upon the lives of now and future individuals - there is as yet no full-length treatment of it, by either a philosopher or a jurist. This work consists of a preface, seven chapters, and a three-part epilogue. In the Preface I introduce the subject matter of the thesis, and provide a chronological summary of the leading secondary philosophical literature of wrongful life. In Chapter I I introduce the law of torts. In Chapter II I introduce torts for ante-natal injury. In Chapter III I provide summaries of the leading wrongful life cases from the United States, England, and Scotland. In Chapter IV I discuss "the duty issue"; in Chapter V I discuss "the causation issue"; in Chapter VI, " the harm issue"; and in Chapter VII, "the sanctity of life" issue. The first part of the three-part Epilogue addresses the so-called "Parfit puzzles", while Part II is a note in which I make the case for the need for a philosophy of procreation. My conclusion appears as Epilogue Part III.