An Alexandrian approach to the knotty problem of wrongful pregnancy: Rees v Darlington Memorial Hospital NHS Trust in the House of Lords

Alasdair Maclean

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    In this commentary, I examine the House of Lords judgment in Rees v Darlington Memorial Hospital NHS Trust [2003] UKHL 52; [2004] 1 A.C. 309. I briefly summarise the facts and judgments and then consider the implications both for wrongful pregnancy case law and suggest that the decision leaves open to challenge the Court of Appeal decision in Parkinson v St James and Seacroft University Hospital NHS Trust [2001] EWCA Civ 530; [2001] 3 All ER 97. I also suggest that, although not sufficiently justified by the majority, their decision to award a conventional sum is justifiable. I also consider the two more general issues that arise from the case. I briefly note the unexplicated distinction their Lordships draw between legal and social policy. I also consider the role that distributive justice has played in the continuing saga of wrongful pregnancy case law.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalWeb Journal of Current Legal Issues
    Publication statusPublished - 2004



    • Clinical negligence
    • Disabled persons
    • Measure of damages
    • Sterilisation
    • Wrongful birth

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