Couples who ‘would have aborted’ disabled children receive millions from NHS in compensation

People who say they would have aborted their children had they known they were disabled have been given £70 million in compensation from the NHS.

The payments took place over the past five years and covered claims for conditions including Down’s syndrome.

A Christian group said seeing the birth of a child as harmful is not the “mark of a civilised society”.

‘Wrongful birth’

The payments, for what is legally known as “wrongful birth”, were disclosed to The Sunday Times.

Figures showed the money came from the NHS Litigation Authority and revealed that the majority of the money was for issues arising from antenatal screening – £40m for 16 cases.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, of Christian Concern, said: “It is not wrongful that babies are born with disabilities.

“It is wrongful that taxpayers are funding a culture which sees disabled children as an inconvenience.

Ruling

“To say the birth of a child is a ‘harm’ to an individual or family and to use taxpayers’ money to compensate for the harm is unkind; it is not a mark of a civilised society.”

Reporting on one recent case, The Sunday Times said that a High Court judge has ruled that doctors had been negligent in not seeing abnormalities and informing the parents.

The mother had undergone ten ultrasounds during the course of her pregnancy, but two doctors were found to have failed to carry out their duties correctly in two of them.

The couple’s daughter is now eight years old and has microcephaly, which affects the size of her head.

Her mother would have aborted her if she was aware of the condition, but says she loves her deeply now.

Watch videos from The Christian Institute’s Choose Life series, which show families who decided not to abort their disabled children.

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