Mum awarded $360,000 after son born with down syndrome

She said she would have aborted him if she knew about his condition

A mother who claims that she would have aborted her son if she had known he had down syndrome has been awarded a huge payout in court.

Appearing in the High Court in London earlier this week, Edyta Mordel will receive up to $363,000 in compensation to cover the costs associated with raising a child with down syndrome after suing the National Health Service for wrongful birth.

After welcoming her child Aleksander at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in England in 2015, Mordel has since devoted her life to caring for her son.

But the mum has revealed she was devastated to learn about his condition, stating that she ‘didn’t want [him] to suffer the way that disabled people suffer’.

The court heard that during her pregnancy, Mordel had requested a down syndrome screening but when she was later asked by a sonographer if she wanted one, she declined, meaning that a scan was performed without a screening.

However, medics at the trust insisted that Mordel has declined the screening outright which is why it was not performed.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Jay concluded that the sonographer had failed to obtain Mordel’s ‘informed consent’ to proceed without the screening, which could have picked up on her child’s condition.

‘[The sonographer] knew or ought to have known that Mordel had indicated provisionally that she wanted Down’s screening,’ he said.

Getty Images
(Credit: Getty Images)

During the trial, Mordel admitted she was angry and upset when her son was diagnosed as she believed that the screening had taken place and the results came back clear.

She added that if she had known about his condition, she would have terminated the pregnancy.

‘I saw how difficult his life is and I would not have continued my pregnancy. I would not have wanted to bring my child into the world like that,’ she said.

Addressing the court, Justice Jay added that his ruling did not indicate that children born with down syndrome must be seen as unwelcome.

‘Some parents have absolute ethical objections to termination of pregnancy, and for them the discussion begins and ends at that point,’ he said.

‘Other parents accept the possibility of having a baby with down syndrome without a shred of reluctance.’

‘The state expresses no judgements either way, but it is the policy of the NHS that Down’s screening should be offered to all expectant mothers, the premise being that many would wish to exercise their right to proceed to medical termination in the event of a diagnosis.’

In Australia it is legal to terminate your pregnancy if your child has down syndrome, however, the laws around the gestation limit differ in each state and territory. For a detailed break down of the laws in Australia click here.

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