Couple’s £1m claim for child’s ‘wrongful birth’

A couple who claim they were robbed of their chance to abort their disabled son are suing an NHS Trust for his “wrongful birth”.

The son, now aged 14, suffers severe mental and physical disabilities. His parents are claiming £1million in damages and compensation for the cost of caring for him.

The couple say that staff at Blackpool Victoria Hospital should have detected anomalies in their baby’s brain structure.

Had a 20-week scan led to the discovery of the boy’s rare condition, the couple would have opted for an abortion.

Their barrister told the High Court yesterday: “The claimants contend, which is not disputed by the defendant, that if this major brain malformation had been detected and then diagnosed … then the pregnancy would have been terminated at that stage.”

Despite insisting that the boy, known to the court as X, is much loved and cherished by his parents, the barrister went on to say: “The birth of X – however loved and admired he is – would not have occurred but for the negligence of the sonographer.”

The couple allege that the mother’s 20-week scan was conducted in a “fairly light-hearted and casual manner” and lacked proper focus and intensity.

They believe the sonographer should have detected evidence of structural anomalies in the child’s brain.

Further investigation might then have uncovered his severe disabilities, at which point they say he would have been aborted.

Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals NHS Trust denies negligence and liability, insisting that there was insufficient evidence of brain defects when the scan was carried out.

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