A mother in the United Kingdom has won her lawsuit against the Royal Berkshire Hospital in the town of Reading for not detecting that her son had Down syndrome before he was born four years ago.
The hospital is operated by the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, a Royal trust which operates several health facilities in the UK.
The BBC reported Edyta Mordel, 33, said she and her partner would have aborted their son if they had known about his condition.
Mordel, whose case was heard by the High Court in London, asked for a Down syndrome screening at the hospital. But when later asked by a sonographer, she declined the screening.
According to the BBC, the trust argued Mordel had declined the test and later regretted her decision.
The judge hearing Mordel’s case believed she misunderstood the question the technician asked her.
The couple’s son named Aleksander was diagnosed just hours before he was born. Medical records revealed in court indicated his parents were “angry and upset.”
In his ruling, the judge said the hospital was to blame for the mistake since they didn’t tell her about the high risk for Down syndrome.
“The claimant probably would have proceeded to invasive testing had she been told that there was a high risk of Down’s syndrome,” he said.
The judge added the ruling should not be interpreted “as suggesting that the birth of a child with Down’s syndrome must be seen as unwelcome.”
But he said Down’s syndrome screening 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.”
The couple’s lawyer later said the two “adored” their son and just wanted the hospital to admit its mistake.
No monetary judgment was announced, but the BBC reported the amount was expected to be in the six-figure range.
The case comes after news reports about efforts to wipe out people with Down syndrome in recent years.
Back in March, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law a measure banning the abortion of babies born with the syndrome. “If that’s the reason that you want to have an abortion,” Herbert said, “that’s probably not a good reason.”
House Bill 166 prohibits abortions from taking place should they be motivated “solely because the unborn child had or may have had Down syndrome.” The bill will not take effect “unless and until similar bans in other states are upheld by the courts,” according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Last November, some people with Down syndrome requested to be the first people placed on the international endangered species list due to their community’s population declining and other factors.
The Canadian Down Syndrome Society’s website lists some amazing statistics about those who have the condition, including that more than 65 percent of people with Down syndrome are out of the workforce and 25 percent of those with intellectual disabilities like Down syndrome live in poverty.
Amazingly, animal welfare organizations have 90 percent more resources and funding than Down syndrome groups in North America, according to the website.
LifeSite News reports it has been estimated that 90 percent of babies in Great Britain to receive a Down syndrome diagnosis are aborted, 65 percent in Norway, virtually 100 percent in Iceland, and 95 percent in Spain.