Wrongful birth: Recovery of upkeep costs

Appearing as an early release article of the Melbourne University Law Review, Recovery of upkeep costs, claims for loss of autonomy an loss of genetic affinity is an article by English & Hafeez-Baig focusing on the recent Singaporean decision ACB v Thomson Medical Pte Ltd. The abstract reads:

Whether the law should permit parents to recover the costs of raising a child that they never intended to have is one of the most vexed questions in the law of negligence. In ACB v Thomson Medical Pte Ltd, the Court of Appeal of Singapore considered this issue in a unique factual context: where the complaint of the appellant was not that she did not want a child but, because of a negligently performed IVF procedure, that she did not want this particular child. The Court ultimately denied the appellant’s claims for upkeep costs and for loss of autonomy, but recognised a novel head of damage: ‘loss of genetic affinity’. In this note we deal with: (i) a preliminary issue of causation, in respect of which we argue that the Court impermissibly focused on the purpose of the loss suffered; (ii) the Court’s reasons for refusing to award upkeep costs or to recognise loss of autonomy as a compensable head of damage; and (iii) the recognition of loss of genetic affinity, which we object to for the principal reason that it is indistinguishable from an award for loss of autonomy.


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