Parents sue NHS hospital for 'wrongful birth' of daughter they would have aborted if antenatal scans had spotted her disability
- Couple seeking compensation for additional costs of raising their severely disabled daughter
- Child will need round-the-clock care for life
By TARA BRADY
PUBLISHED: 08:52 EST, 11 January 2013 | UPDATED: 11:56 EST, 11 January 2013
A distraught couple are suing a medical trust for millions after claiming blunders made by hospital staff led to the 'wrongful birth' of their severely disabled daughter.
The parents, who have not been identified, say John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, failed to spot that their unborn child would be born disabled despite it carrying out antenatal scans.
Had they known in time, the couple would have made the heartbreaking decision to terminate the pregnancy.
The girl will now require round-the-clock care for life.
Her parents have decided to sue Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, which manages the hospital, and are seeking compensation for the huge costs they now face paying raising a disabled child.
The girl is described in papers filed at the High Court as having 'extremely severe disabilities' but, because she is still very young, their full extent 'is not yet known'.
The couple's lawyers state in documents setting out their claim that 'had foetal abnormalities been detected during the course of foetal ultrasound scanning, as they ought to have been, then the mother and father would or should have been offered the choice to terminate the pregnancy.
'Given this choice, and the advice that should have been given as to the abnormalities that the baby would without doubt suffer...the mother with the full support of the father would have chosen to terminate the pregnancy...prior to the foetus reaching 24 weeks.'
It is claimed the parents were reassured after two ultrasound scans that there was no cause for concern and that a sonographer wrote in notes after the second scan that there was 'no evidence of a foetal abnormality'.
The lawyers go on to claim that a hospital consultant later wrote in the woman's medical records: 'I have explained that we would normally expect a defect (of this type) to have been detected at the anomaly scan stage and that our failure to do so is very disappointing to all concerned. I have apologised to them for the failure.'
The court documents state both parents are also claiming damages 'for their own personal injury, loss and expense that they have each suffered,' by way of psychological injury, as well as the additional costs of raising their daughter.
The documents state the parents are claiming 'over £300,000' in damages.
However, if their case succeeds, they are likely to be awarded many times that sum, given the enormous costs of bringing up such a seriously disabled child.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2260782/Devastated-couple-sue-NHS-hospital-wrongful-birth-disabled-daughter-aborted-antenatal-scans-failed-spot-abnormality.html#ixzz2HjAj7T8z
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