Most ‘wrongful birth’ lawsuits are filed because doctors missed a fetal abnormality during a prenatal test and the parents claim that if they would’ve known their child would be disabled, they would have had an abortion.
In fact, recent figures released by the Department of Health reveal that between 2003 and 2013 the NHS paid out more than $100 million in U.S. dollars in 164 cases of ‘wrongful births’. However, one case out of the United Kingdom concerns a woman who sued NHS after giving birth to a perfectly healthy daughter.
In 2010, Katie-Kelly Ince, 18, became pregnant one month after nurses implanted a matchstick-sized flexible rod that is inserted under the skin and releases hormones to stop ovulation. The contraceptive prevents pregnancy 99.95% and Katie’s mother, Paula, was fine with her daughter having sex as long as she was responsible.
But soon after the implant was inserted, she started feeling “off” and began to get concerned. It wasn’t until later that Katie found out that her pregnancy occurred because her implant wasn’t inserted properly by the medical staff at the clinic she visited.
Nevertheless, she was devastated and cried hysterically for hours about her unplanned pregnancy. She had planned to train to become a dental nurse but now she thought those plans were impossible. She turned to her mother for help even though she thought she had ruined her life and was a disappointment to her family.
Paula was just as shocked as Katie and insisted that they visit a gynecologist. At the visit, doctors discovered through a blood test that there was no progesterone in Katie’s body. Katie told the Daily Mail that the National Health Service robbed her of her youth, independence, ambitions and her future when its negligence allowed her daughter to be conceived.
Despite the fact that Katie was “pro-choice” and her pregnancy was unplanned, she didn’t have an abortion. Katie said, “I felt my mental state would be worse if I terminated than if I didn’t.” Her mother argues that her decision to refuse abortion was partially influenced by her Catholic upbringing
Ultimately, Katie received £11,000 from the NHS, which is over $17,000 in U.S. dollars. She could have received more if she would have proved financial distress by undergoing an extensive psychoanalysis. Katie was especially upset over the small amount she was awarded since women who were in the same situation received more money if they had abortions.
Katie said, “I was shocked that someone who didn’t have a child could have got quite a lot more.” With the money she did receive, she set some aside for driving lessons for her daughter and put down a deposit on a rented two-bedroom terrace house.
Now Katie’s daughter, Niamh, is four years old. Katie concluded, “Niamh knows how much I love her. She tells people her mummy loves her the “mostest” of anyone. When Niamh is older I will tell her she is the best accident I’ve ever had.”