A British mother filed a “wrongful birth” lawsuit against the National Health System this week, arguing that she would have aborted her son if she had known that he had Down syndrome.
Edyta Mordel, 33, of Reading, England, accused medical professionals of not offering her prenatal tests that would have detected her son’s condition before birth, The Mirror reports.
Now, she wants £200,000 (about $250,000) in compensation for the costs of raising him, according to the report.
Mordel said she insisted on having prenatal testing during her pregnancy. If that testing had been provided, she said she would have known of the high probability that her son Aleksander had Down syndrome, and she would have chosen to abort him.
“Miss Mordel would have been offered an abortion and her partner, Aleksander’s father Lukasz Cieciura, agreed they would have terminated the pregnancy,” her barrister Coldagh Bradley QC said.
She said she carried on with her pregnancy, thinking nothing was wrong with her unborn son.
“I was reassured so many times everything was alright, that the pregnancy was fine,” Mordel said, according to the Daily Mail.
In 2015, she gave birth to Aleksander at the Royal Berkshire Hospital where doctors soon diagnosed him with Down syndrome, according to the news reports. Mordel’s medical records note that she was “very upset and angry” when she learned about her son’s condition.
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Lawyers for the NHS refute Mordel’s version of the story. They said she was offered prenatal testing for Down syndrome during her 12-week scan but refused it, pointing to notes on her medical records that read “Down’s screening declined,” according to the Mirror.
These so-called “wrongful birth” lawsuits have been a problem for years in the western world. Parents in the U.S. and U.K. have won millions of dollars by arguing that they would be better off if their child with disabilities was dead.
According to the Daily Mail:
Figures from 2017 revealed that the NHS Litigation Authority had paid £70million to parents in ‘wrongful birth’ cases in five years. That included £40million of damages in 16 cases where parents claimed that antenatal screening failed to warn them of the risk that their baby would be born with a disability – which equates to about £2.5million per family.
In 2013, a Washington state couple won $50 million in a lawsuit after they argued they were denied information that could have led them to abort their disabled baby, LifeNews reported. The Seattle Times reported the couple knew they had a 50-percent chance of having children with the debilitating genetic disorder unbalanced chromosome translocation, but a genetic test failed to detect the disorder in their unborn baby.
In 2014, an Illinois mother also sued her doctor, claiming that he botched her tubal ligation and it led to the birth of her daughter who has sickle cell disease.
While parents deserve to know the truth about test results and other medical issues, some have taken these cases in a dangerous direction by arguing that the misinformation prevented them from killing their child before birth.
“Wrongful birth and wrongful life lawsuits are just plain wrong,” pro-life blogger Rebecca Taylor previously wrote at LifeNews.
“The wrongful birth suit is brought by the parents of a sick or disabled child against a physician that, the parents say, was negligent. The wrongful birth lawsuit does not say that the doctor caused the disease or disability, which would be a valid reason to sue. Instead the wrongful birth lawsuit claims the that doctor failed to inform the parents of the illness or disability of the child and that had they known, they would have aborted their child.
“In other words, the parents are saying we wish our child was dead. Because he or she is not, the doctor has to pay,” Taylor wrote.
LifeNews Note: File photo.