En ventre sa mere


En ventre sa mere

The French phrase "en ventre sa mere" refers to a fetus in utero. It is commonly used in legal English.

A child which is still "en ventre sa mere" is accepted to be a minor, provided it is subsequently born alive.

The use of this concept in legal language can be traced to English cases in the nineteenth century. In Occleston v Fullalove (1873-74) L.R. 9 Ch. App. 147, a case heard in the Court of Appeal in Chancery it was argued for the Appellant that although the child in question was "en ventre sa mère" at the date of the will subject to the litigation, there was neither principle nor authority against such a child having a reputation of paternity. The Court allowed the after-born child to share with her sisters under the will.

The concept is used in common law jurisdictions and has been extended beyond the law of wills and succession so that claims in the law of torts are also recognised. In the Australian case Watt v. Rama [1972] VR 353 it was deemed that a fetus is a person entitled, once born, to compensation as a plaintiff for injury caused while en ventre sa mère."

Some U.S. cases have removed the requirement that the fetus actually be born. In Amadio v. Levin, 509 Pa. 199 (1985), the court held that "it makes no difference in liability under the wrongful death and survival statutes whether the child dies of the injuries just prior to or just after birth." In Farley v. Sartin Trucking, 195 W.Va. 671, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia did away with a requirement that a tortiously killed fetus be viable outside the womb at the time the tort was committed. The deceased unborn child's personal representative may maintain an action pursuant to the state's wrongful death statute, the court held, cautioning that the cause of action does not extend against a woman who has a legal abortion.

In current spoken French, it would rather be "dans le ventre de sa mère".


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • ventre sa mere — See en ventre sa mere …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • in ventre sa mere — in ven·tre sa mere /in ven trē sä mer, ven trə / [Anglo French en ventre sa mere in his/her mother s womb]: in the womb: in utero Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • en ventre sa mere — adj. (French) In the belly of one’s mother; unborn but in gestation. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008. en ventre sa mere …   Law dictionary

  • en ventre sa mère — en ventre sa mere adj. (French) In the belly of one’s mother; unborn but in gestation. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008. en ventre sa mère …   Law dictionary

  • en ventre sa mère — änˌvän.trəsäˈme(ə)r Etymology: Anglo French of an infant : in utero and therefore for beneficial purposes legally born * * * en ventre sa mère /ã vã tr’ sa merˈ/ (law) in his or her mother s womb. ORIGIN: Fr * * * en ventre sa mère see en prep …   Useful english dictionary

  • in ventre sa mere — /in ventriy sa mer/ L. Fr. In his mother s womb; spoken of an unborn child …   Black's law dictionary

  • in ventre sa mere — /in ventriy sa mer/ L. Fr. In his mother s womb; spoken of an unborn child …   Black's law dictionary

  • en ventre sa mere — (French.) In the womb of the mother. Same as the Latin in utero matris …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • in ventre sa mere — In the womb of the mother …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • ventre — (van tr ) s. m. 1°   La cavité du corps qui contient l estomac et les intestins. Avoir mal au ventre. Ventre enflé, gonflé, tendu. •   Donc vous vous figurez qu une bête assommée Tienne votre fortune en son ventre enfermée ?, DU RYER Scévole, II …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré


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