Janet A. Laufer


In the past fifteen years, several state appellate courts have considered wrongful birth and wrongful life causes of action. While the modern trend is to allow wrongful birth causes of action, few courts have permitted wrongful life actions to be maintained. On May 3, 1982, the California Supreme Court, in Turpin v. Sortini became the first state high court to allow a wrongful life cause of action. This casenote will examine the reasoning of the Turpin court in allowing the wrongful life claim. While Turpin appears to signal a new trend in this area of tort law, there is little doubt that it will generate much criticism. Some commentators will suggest that the Turpin court went too far; others that it did not go far enough. This article will explore the policy considerations surrounding both sides of the issue.