Edyta Mordel was “very upset and angry” when she learned that she had given birth to a baby boy with Down syndrome.
The Reading, England woman said she would have aborted her son if she had known about his condition before he was born.
On Tuesday, a British high court ruled in favor of her “wrongful birth” lawsuit and allowed her to collect monetary damages from the Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Trust, the Daily Mail reports. Mordel wants £200,000 (about $244,468) for the additional costs of caring for her son and the lost work time due to the care he requires.
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, now 4, would have Down syndrome, and she would have chosen to abort him.
She claimed she loves her son, but she “would not have wanted her child to suffer the way that disabled people suffer,” according to the report.
Mr Justice Jay ruled in Mordel’s favor Tuesday, arguing that staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital were negligent by failing to offer her tests that screen for Down syndrome, the report states.
Mordel said she was clear with the hospital staff that she wanted the screening test.
“I was always sure about the decision and I always wanted it,” she said. “I spoke with the midwife about Down’s syndrome screening. I had informed myself. I watched a lot of videos and read about screening. I knew from the start that I would agree on the Down’s syndrome screening and I would not make any other decision.”
Lawyers for the NHS refuted 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.
However, the judge noted that English is her second language, and the staff should have double checked because of Mordel’s previous indications that she wanted the screening test.
The sonographer “knew, or ought to have known, that Ms Mordel had indicated provisionally that she wanted Down’s screening,” Justice Jay said. “She knew, or ought to have known, that this was at the very least likely to be her expectation when she walked into the room.”
The judge said the midwife also failed to follow up with Mordel about the Down syndrome screening.
“I have found that she consistently wanted Down’s screening of her baby,” he said.
Here’s more from the report:
Her barrister, Clodagh Bradley QC, said the screening would have revealed a high risk of Down’s and further tests would have confirmed the condition.
‘Miss Mordel would have been offered an abortion and she and her partner, Aleksander’s father Lukasz Cieciura, agreed they would have terminated the pregnancy.
Instead, she gave birth by caesarean section at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in January 2015, and her medical notes recorded that she was ‘very upset and angry’ when Aleksander was diagnosed with Down’s.
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 Mail, the British NHS alone has paid £70million to parents in the past five years.
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.
These lawsuits encourage discrimination and eugenics. They treat children with physical imperfections, which are no fault of their own, as lesser human beings, and then blame doctors, nurses and others for not providing information that would have prompted the parents to kill their unborn child in an abortion.