A woman in the UK has been awarded financial compensation for the “wrongful birth” of her son after the NHS allegedly failed to test her unborn baby for Down’s syndrome.
According to her lawyer, Edyta Mordel is set to receive a six-figure payout after claiming she was deprived of the opportunity to legally kill her son, Aleksander, before he was born.
The 33-year-old’s Barrister, Clodagh Bradley QC, said, Mordel and her partner would have aborted the child had they known he had Down’s syndrome.
Despite the hospital’s ultrasound reports system recording that Mordel declined the screening test, the judge, Mr Justice Jay, found that a communication problem and subsequent failings on the part of NHS led Mordel to believe she had already been screened.
Mordel, who said she was “very upset and angry” when she was told about Aleksander’s diagnosis, told the court: “I knew someone from work with Down’s syndrome.
“I saw how difficult his life is and I would not have continued my pregnancy. I would not have wanted a disabled child and I would not have wanted my child to suffer the way that disabled people suffer.
“I wouldn’t want to have brought my child into the world like that.”
In his ruling, the judge said: “Had she been informed that her baby had Down’s syndrome, I am satisfied that he would have proceeded to termination.”
In “wrongful birth” cases, compensation is granted to cover the additional costs of raising a disabled child. Mordel’s lawyers said she could receive a payout of more than £200,000.
According to LifeNews, figures from 2017 reveal that NHS Litigation Authority paid £70 million to parents in ‘wrongful birth’ cases in five years. This huge financial liability is likely to put pressure on doctors to encourage screening rather than offer it as a neutral option.