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Wrongful life claims: dignity, disability and “a line in the sand”

Warwick J Neville and Buddhima Lokuge
Med J Aust 2006; 185 (10): 558-560.
Published online: 20 November 2006

A recent High Court decision held that children born with disabilities not caused by medical intervention, but not diagnosed antenatally, could not claim general damages for their pain and suffering, nor special damages for the needs created by their disabilities and their loss of earning capacity.

The law has regularly struggled with how to deal justly with disability associated with medical interventions, particularly in relation to competence and consent, as well as causality and compensability.

  • Warwick J Neville1
  • Buddhima Lokuge2

  • Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet), Australian National University, Canberra, ACT.


Competing interests:

None identified.

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