The medical profession has recognized the fetus as an individual patient separate from the mother for longer than the law has considered it an entity deserving of legal protection in its own right. In the early prenatal injury cases, courts denied recovery on the ground that a fetus was a part of the mother. Today, all states recognize the child's right to bring an action against a third party for negligent infliction of a prenatal injury.
This article examines the issues involved in allowing a child's cause of action against his mother for prenatal injuries, which injuries are not the result of a third party's conduct, but that of the mother herself.
Mary K. Kennedy,
Maternal Liability for Prenatal Injury Arising from Substance Abuse during Pregnancy: The Possibility of a Cause of Action in Pennsylvania,
Duq. L. Rev.
Available at: https://dsc.duq.edu/dlr/vol29/iss3/5