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McKay v Essex Area Health Board [1982]


  • A mother and child claimed that a doctor not issuing abortion advice when a serious disability is diagnosed during pregnancy deserved recompense in the form of damages for “suffer[ing] entry into a life in which her injuries are highly debilitating.”


  • Could recovery be allowed in such controversial circumstances


  • No recovery


  • A child cannot claim, to put it bluntly, that they would rather not be alive
  • The doctor was under no legal obligation to terminate the foetus’ life during pregnancy


[1982] 2 All ER 771

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