Beyond Stork Delivery: From Injury to Autonomy in Reconceptualising 'Harm' in Wrongful Pregnancy

Studies in Law, Politics and Society, Vol. 38, pp. 105-149, 2006

Posted: 2 Nov 2006

See all articles by Nicolette M. Priaulx

Nicolette M. Priaulx

Cardiff University; Cardiff University - Cardiff Law School

Abstract

Can one describe the 'natural' process of pregnancy as 'harm', even when negligently brought about? What does that harm consist of? Offering a contextual analysis of the English judiciary's characterisation of wrongful pregnancy, this paper demonstrates from a feminist perspective that the current construction of pregnancy as a 'personal injury' is deeply problematic. Forwarding an alternative account, this paper argues for law to embrace a richer notion of autonomy that will better resonate with women's diverse experiences of reproduction, and articulate the importance of autonomy in the reproductive domain: notably, women gaining control over their moral, relational and social lives.

Keywords: wrongful pregnancy, pregnancy, torts, tort, injury, harm, personal injury, autonomy, relational autonomy, English law

JEL Classification: I10, J16, K13, K10

Suggested Citation

Priaulx, Nicolette M., Beyond Stork Delivery: From Injury to Autonomy in Reconceptualising 'Harm' in Wrongful Pregnancy. Studies in Law, Politics and Society, Vol. 38, pp. 105-149, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=941237

Nicolette M. Priaulx (Contact Author)

Cardiff University ( email )

PO Box 427
Cardiff, Wales CF10 3AX
United Kingdom

Cardiff University - Cardiff Law School ( email )

PO Box 427
Cardiff, Wales CF10 3AX
United Kingdom

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