Journal of Medical Ethics 37 (7):433-436 (2011)

There are four major arguments raised against wrongful life claims: first, that it is impossible to establish harm in wrongful life claims; second, that wrongful life claims are illogical or incoherent; third, that life is inviolable and sacred no matter the quality; and fourth, that there are no rights and duties towards non-existent persons. In this paper, I will examine and evaluate critically the first two arguments. I will reject these objections against wrongful life claims and demonstrate that they rely on a conceptual error/mistake. In doing so, I will reject the logic of comparing existence with non-existence in wrongful life claims. Instead, I will maintain that recognition of the infant's cause of action and recognition of the infant's harmed condition need not imply any preference for non-existence over existence, and it need not to be so severe as to make life not worth living. I will conclude by briefly giving an account of what seems to me to be the right conception of what it is to be harmed
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1136/jme.2010.042051
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 68,916
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality.G. A. Cohen - 1995 - Cambridge University Press.
The Logical Case for “Wrongful Life”.Bonnie Steinbock - 1986 - Hastings Center Report 16 (2):15-20.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Wrongful Life, Suicide, and Euthanasia.Jakob Elster - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Research 32 (Supplement):273-282.
Wrongful Life, Wrongful Disability, and the Argument Against Cloning.David K. Chan - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Research 32 (Supplement):257-272.
What is Wrong with 'Wrongful Life' Cases?Barry M. Loewer - 1985 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 10 (2):127-146.
The Ascription of Rights in Wrongful Life Suits.Nancy S. Jecker - 1987 - Law and Philosophy 6 (2):149-165.
'Wrongful Life' Claims.R. Gillon - 1998 - Journal of Medical Ethics 24 (6):363-364.
Can Claims for `Wrongful Life' Be Justified?G. E. Jones & C. Perry - 1983 - Journal of Medical Ethics 9 (3):162-174.
Moral Error Theory, Entailment and Presupposition.Wouter Floris Kalf - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):923-937.
Evolution and Error Theory.John Mizzoni - 2010 - Social Science Information 49 (2):165-194.
Wrongful Life.David Archard - 2004 - Philosophy 79 (3):403-420.
Error Types.Douglas Allchin - 2001 - Perspectives on Science 9 (1):38-58.


Added to PP index

Total views
37 ( #304,559 of 2,497,818 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #428,301 of 2,497,818 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes