Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Infanticide Definition:

Murder of an infant soon after its birth.

Related Terms: Parricide, Life

The 1908 (3rd edition) of Mozley and Whiteley's Law Dictionary defines infanticide as:

"The killing of a child immediately after it is born."

The 2011 edition of Canada's Criminal Code, at §233:

"A female person commits infanticide when by a wilful act or omission she causes the death of her newly-born child, if at the time of the act or omission she is not fully recovered from the effects of giving birth to the child and by reason thereof or of the effect of lactation consequent on the birth of the child her mind is then disturbed."

Kathryn Mosely writes:

"In Greco-Roman civilization, the infanticide of handicapped children became more common.... In later times, a stigma was placed on the mother of the deformed child. It was assumed that she was a witch or had consorted with animals or demons. In view of the stiff penalties involved ... it was in the mother's best interests to remove the evidence of her supposed wrongdoing - the child."

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