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Mother wins huge NHS payout after ‘wrongful birth’ of baby born with Down’s syndrome

The NHS has awarded compensation to a mother who said she would have aborted her son if she had known he had Down’s syndrome.

Edyta Mordel sued the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust over a failure to detect the condition in her son, Aleksander Mordel, before his birth in January 2015.

Mordel told the High Court in London, that although she is now devoted to Aleksander, she would have terminated the pregnancy if prenatal screening had been conducted and revealed that Aleksander had the condition.

When she discovered her pregnancy, Mordel claims she told a midwife that she wished to undergo a test that would screen for Down’s syndrome.

Lawyers for the NHS say that she was offered the test, but declined it. Therefore, a scan was carried out without screening.

Mordel’s medical notes record that she was “very and angry upset” when Aleksander was diagnosed hours after his birth, prompting her to sue the NHS for ‘wrongful birth’.

Mr Justice Jay ruled against the Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Trust. The compensation payment is expected to be six figures.

Ruling in her favour, he said: “The claimant probably would have proceeded to invasive testing had she been told that there was a high risk of Down’s syndrome.

“[She] was a relatively young mother and I think that at the end of the day the fear that she might be carrying a child with Down’s syndrome would, at least for her, have tipped the balance.”

The High Court judge added that prenatal screening for Down’s syndrome should be offered to all expectant mothers as “many would wish to exercise their right to proceed to medical termination in the event of a diagnosis”.

In 2017, it was revealed that the NHS Litigation Authority had paid out more than £114 million in compensation to parents who said they would have aborted their children if they knew they were disabled.

Actress Sally Phillips has previously spoken out against testing for Down’s syndrome in the womb.

Phillips, whose 14-year-old son Olly has the condition, says the current system of disability screening is “a form of eugenics”.

She said that she and her son Olly have “happy and fulfilled lives”, as is normal for most families in their situation, and while there are challenges to raising a child with Down’s syndrome, there are also “great, great rewards”.

In England & Wales, government statistics show that where Down’s syndrome has been discovered in prenatal screening over 90% choose to abort the child. In Iceland, almost 100% of unborn babies prenatally diagnosed with Down’s syndrome are aborted.

Spokesperson for Right to Life UK, Catherine Robinson said: 

“It is not wrongful that babies are born with Down syndrome or other disabilities. It is wrongful that taxpayer money is compensating a culture and a society which sees disabled children as an inconvenience. 

“It is wrongful that the rise of prenatal screening tests across Europe has led to a state-funded programme targeting unborn babies who are perceived to have a disability. Babies, that as evidenced by Sally Philips and many other mothers with disabled children, lead happy and fulfilling lives.”

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Dear reader

Thanks to the support from people like you, last year a major attempt to hijack the UK Government’s flagship Domestic Abuse Bill with two extreme abortion proposals failed, in a major pro-life victory.

Unfortunately, this is not the end for our opposition.

We are currently facing major threats on five separate fronts:

  1. Pro-abortion MP Rupa Huq has brought forward an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to introduce a jail term of up to two years if a pro-lifer offers support or advice to a woman near an abortion clinic. This is a threat to unborn babies and to freedom of speech.
  2. The assisted suicide lobby has brought forward a bill to legalise assisted suicide, which was introduced to the House of Lords on 26 May.
  3. The Northern Ireland Secretary has given himself new powers to force expanded abortion services on Northern Ireland.
  4. The abortion lobby is further exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to attempt to make dangerous ‘DIY’ home abortions available permanently.
  5. The abortion lobby is expected to make another attempt to change abortion law to allow abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth.

If these major threats from our opposition are successful, it would be a disaster. Thousands of lives would be lost. 

Fighting both the abortion and assisted suicide lobbies over this period has already made a huge dent in Right To Life UK's limited resources.

To cover this gap and ensure we effectively defeat these proposals during this period, we must raise at least £200,000.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to please give as generously as you can. Every donation, no matter how small, will make a significant difference.

By stopping these threats, YOU can save lives over this coming period.

Will you make a special gift right now to help protect vulnerable lives from these threats?

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