Fetal Death Law and Legal Definition

Fetal death refers to the death of a fetus before birth. Death occurs prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of product of conception, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy. However it should not be an induced termination of pregnancy. Death is indicated by the fact that after such expulsion or extraction, the fetus does not breathe or show any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles.

The following is an example of a State Statute ( Pennsylvania) defining fetal death:

According to 35 P.S. § 450.105 (4) fetal death means the expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception after sixteen (16) weeks gestation, which shows no evidence of life after such expulsion or extraction.