July 08, 2019
Hospital notes show that a mother shouldn't receive £200,000 in damages from the NHS for having child with Down's Syndrome because she declined to have him tested before he was born, a court heard.
Mother sues NHS for £200,000 claiming hospital failed to inform her of sons Downs Syndrome diagnosis
Edyta Mordel, 33, is claiming hospital staff failed to do the antenatal tests she wanted, which would have revealed that she was carrying a disabled child.
She is suing the NHS at the High Court because she says that had she known, she would have aborted the birth of her son Aleksander, now four years old.
Her claim is for compensation to cover the increased costs of having a disabled son and the losses she has suffered.
However, NHS lawyers contest the claim, suggesting that Ms Mordel declined the tests she says she asked for.
It was only when Aleksander was born with Down's that she "bitterly regretted" the decision not to undergo screening for the condition, they claim.
Clodagh Bradley QC,representing Ms Mordel, said she was concerned about her baby immediately after he was born by caesarean section at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in January 2015.
When told of his diagnosis, she was noted as being "very upset and angry" because she believed she had been given the all-clear after screening of the unborn baby.
The court heard both Ms Mordel and the Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Trust agree that she said she wanted Down's screening at her first "booking in" appointment after she learned of her pregnancy.
However, when she went for her 12-week scan a month later in July 2014, the test was not carried out and the sonographer recorded "Down's screening declined".
Lawyers representing the NHS argued she changed her mind during that month, having learned of the risk of miscarriages in mothers who have invasive Down's testing.
When questioned in court about whether she said no to wanting screening, Ms Mordel replied: "If she would ask me if I wanted any test for Down's syndrome, I would say 'yes'.
"I was always sure about the decision and I always wanted it.
"I already 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."
Ms Mordel's legal team argue that the sonographer wrongly recorded Down's screening as being "declined", leading to her missing out on the testing.
Ms Mordel, a production operator, is originally from Poland and moved to Britain with her partner Lukasz Cieciura - the father of Aleksander - in 2006.
The judge is expected to reserve his decision on the case until a later date.
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