The Grapevine

Woman Who Failed To Abort Son With Down Syndrome Could Get $245K

The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom may pay nearly $245,000 to a woman for the failed abortion of her child who has Down syndrome. The 33-year-old mother blames the national health care system for the “wrongful birth” of her baby. 

“I saw how difficult his life is, and I would not have continued my pregnancy,” Edyta Mordel, of Reading, Berkshire, said. “I would not have wanted a disabled child, and I would not have wanted my child to suffer the way disabled people suffer."

Down syndrome is a genetic condition that affects cognitive ability and physical growth. It also increases the risk of having a number of medical conditions, including epilepsy, respiratory problems, hearing difficulties and childhood leukemia.

Mordel filed a lawsuit against NHS following her unplanned pregnancy in 2014. Doctors said she was booked to have a Down syndrome screening but declined the test until she gave birth to her son, Aleksander, who is now 4, the Mirror reported Tuesday.

However, the court questioned the decision of doctors to allow Mordel to deny the test in the early days of her pregnancy. Down syndrome screening is commonly provided between 10 and 14 weeks of gestation.

A judge said the sonographer in charge of the screening failed to obtain adequate “informed consent” from Mordel to reject the test. The official explained the worker “knew, or ought to have known, Ms. Mordel had indicated provisionally she wanted Down screening.” 

The court findings suggest she did not process the question well when asked by the sonographer if she wanted the exam. Mordel actually replied “No,” however, the judge considered it as a reflex response to the “abrupt” question of the sonographer, New York Post reported Wednesday

The judge added the worker did not not follow up further. Mordel told the court that she really wanted to abort the baby. 

She explained that she used to work with someone with Down syndrome and did not want to see her child to have the same issues as he grows. 

“I wouldn’t want to have brought my child into the world like that,” Mordel said. 

In the U.S., there are nearly 6,000 babies being born with Down syndrome every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

baby Down syndrome Down syndrome is a genetic condition that affects cognitive ability and physical growth. Pixabay

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