Stephen Todd, ‘Common law protection for injury to a person’s reproductive autonomy’

INTRODUCTION
… Perhaps it would be possible to bring a greater degree of order and consistency of principle into this field of law than has been achieved so far. With this general aim in mind, the inquiry at the heart of this article is whether or how far the courts ought to uphold an action at the suit of a person who complains, as a standalone head of damage, that a doctor or other professional person has in some way interfered with his or her autonomy in having the freedom or the capacity to decide whether or in what circumstances to have a child. We can call this a claim for injury to the person’s reproductive autonomy. There are two contrasting limbs to such a claim. The more litigated limb is concerned with the different ways in which an action might arise out of the unplanned birth of a child or the birth of a planned child with unwanted characteristics. It has to be determined what exactly is meant by an interference with ‘autonomy’ in this context, and how an injury to reproductive autonomy ought to be quantified. The other limb, which tends to be less controversial, concerns the loss of autonomy suffered by a person who is deprived of the opportunity to have a child of his or her own …

€ (Westlaw)

Stephen Todd, ‘Common law protection for injury to a person’s reproductive autonomy’ (2019) 135 Law Quarterly Review (October) 635.

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