A mum who said she would have aborted her son before birth had she known he had Down’s syndrome has been awarded a £200,000 NHS payout.
Edyta Mordel, 33, sued over a failure to detect the condition in her son Aleksander before his birth in January 2015. The court heard that the sonographer failed to get her informed consent NOT to have screening for the syndrome.
All mums-to-be are offered a test for Down’s syndrome between 10 and 14 weeks of pregnancy – and Ms Mordel said she was under the impression her baby had been screened during the ultrasound testing, the Mirror reports.
But after her baby boy was born and she was told by Royal Berkshire Hospital that he had been diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, she was said to be “very upset and angry”. She said she thought she had received an all-clear.
Campaigners say people with Down’s syndrome can achieve normal life goals. It causes some learning disability that can vary, and people may be more likely to have heart, digestive system, hearing and sight problems.
Ms Mordel, of Reading, Berks, said in the witness box: “I knew someone from work with Down’s syndrome. I saw how difficult his life is and I would not have continued my pregnancy.”
Mr Justice Jay said the sonographer had failed to obtain informed consent to go ahead without the screening.
Her initial question to Ms Mordel had been “abrupt” and her follow-up did not go far enough, he said.
“She knew, or ought to have known, Ms Mordel had indicated provisionally she wanted Down’s screening,” he said, adding Ms Mordel failed to process the question and her reflex response was to say, “No”.
The judge added: “Nothing I have said should be interpreted as suggesting that the birth of a child with Down’s syndrome must be seen as unwelcome.”
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