'Wrongful Life' in the Age of CRISPR-CAS: Using the Legal Fiction of the Conceptual Being to Redress Wrongful Gamete Manipulation

47 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2019 Last revised: 1 Apr 2019

See all articles by Barbara Pfeffer Billauer

Barbara Pfeffer Billauer

Institute of World Politics; International Program in Bioethics, U. of Porto; Foundation for Law and Science Centers, Inc.

Date Written: February 12, 2019

Abstract

Virtually all wrongful life claims (those brought by children harmed prior to gestation), are denied. The basis for these holdings pivots around refusal to allow recompense for actions which result in the child’s being born, an offshoot of cases where parents are denied the right of abortion. We therefore are faced with a legal lacuna, where children suffering serious harms as a result of wrongful genetic manipulation (WGM) caused by the latest reproductive technologies are legal orphans. This article details avenues of potential harm generated by the latest technologies before proceeding to create a legal fiction, “the conceptual being” which would enable these children to bypass current restrictions and claim an expanded class of damages, including pain and suffering, emotional injury and unjust enrichment.

Keywords: PGT, PGD, PGS, Crispr, Crispr-Cas, Wrongful Life, Wrongful Birth, genetic harm, negligence

JEL Classification: I18, K40, K41

Suggested Citation

Billauer, Barbara P., 'Wrongful Life' in the Age of CRISPR-CAS: Using the Legal Fiction of the Conceptual Being to Redress Wrongful Gamete Manipulation (February 12, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3333217 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3333217

Barbara P. Billauer (Contact Author)

Institute of World Politics ( email )

1521 16th St NW,
Washington, DC
United States
+1 202-462-2101 (Phone)

International Program in Bioethics, U. of Porto ( email )

Rua Dr. Roberto Frias
4200-464 Porto
Portugal

Foundation for Law and Science Centers, Inc. ( email )

1020 16th Street NW
Suite LL1
Washington, DC 20036
United States
972 54 344 6055 (Phone)

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