Intrinsic value is generally defined as the inherent worth of something, independent of its value to anyone or anything else. One way to think about intrinsic value is to view it as similar to the inalienable right to exist.
The Endangered Species Act in the United States protects many species that are not "valuable" to humans in any readily definable way (for instance, the dwarf wedge mussel [Alasmidonta heterodon] or the swamp pink [Helonias bullata]). These species are protected based on the idea that they have a right to exist, just as all humans do.
In the ever expanding area of companion animal law, a jury in Broward County, Florida (Miami) recently returned a verdict that stated that the “intrinsic value “of a pet rottweiler was $20,000.00!
The dog’s owner sued a kennel where she had boarded her pet, alleging that the Vet was negligent when he failed to provide adequate medical care. Because of this inaction, the rottweiler died.
The members of the jury found that the owner was entitled to the “companionship loss” of her dog, and not the usual “fair market” or “replacement value" of the pet.
You can read more about this case here.
A very interesting, far-reaching and expanding decision in favor of pet owners. It will be interesting to sell how other jurisdictions respond.