A mother is suing the
Edyta Mordel, 33, insists she asked for the checks to be carried out during her pregnancy and was devastated when her baby son was diagnosed with the condition after his birth.
Although she is now devoted to four-year-old Aleksander, she told the High Court in
The case is legally termed as a ‘wrongful birth’ because Miss Mordel says she would have had an abortion if she had known of the condition.
Edyta Mordel, 33, (pictured with her partner) is suing the NHS for £200,000 after insisting she requested Down’s syndrome checks to be carried out during her pregnancy
Figures from 2017 revealed that the NHS Litigation Authority had paid £70million to parents in ‘wrongful birth’ cases in five years. That included £40million of damages in 16 cases where parents claimed that antenatal screening failed to warn them of the risk that their baby would be born with a disability – which equates to about £2.5million per family.
Miss Mordel, from Reading, is suing for compensation for the increased financial costs of caring for her son, and for its impact on her ability to work.
She discovered she was pregnant in 2014 and says she told a midwife at her first appointment that she wanted to be screened for Down’s.
She told the High Court in London that she would have aborted her four-year-old son Aleksander if she had found out about his diagnosis during her pregnancy. Pictured is Ms Mordel and her partner
When she went for her 12-week scan she believed the test was carried out and that she had received the all-clear. But the test was not performed and the sonographer recorded ‘Down’s screening declined’ in her medical notes.
Lawyers for the NHS claimed Miss Mordel was offered the tests but declined them, and ‘bitterly regretted’ her decision after Aleksander was born.
When she went for her 12-week scan she believed the test was carried out and that she had received the all-clear. But the test was not performed and the sonographer recorded ‘Down’s screening declined’ in her medical notes
Yet Miss Mordel, who is originally from Poland, told the High Court: ‘I was always sure about the decision and I always wanted it.
‘I spoke with the midwife about Down’s syndrome screening. I had informed myself. I watched a lot of videos and read about screening.
‘I knew from the start that I would agree on the Down’s syndrome screening and I would not make any other decision.’
Her barrister, Clodagh Bradley QC, said the screening would have revealed a high risk of Down’s and further tests would have confirmed the condition.
‘Miss Mordel would have been offered an abortion and she and her partner, Aleksander’s father Lukasz Cieciura, agreed they would have terminated the pregnancy.
Instead, she gave birth by caesarean section at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in January 2015, and her medical notes recorded that she was ‘very upset and angry’ when Aleksander was diagnosed with Down’s.
Lawyer Michael de Navarro QC, for the NHS hospital trust, suggested Miss Mordel had changed her mind in the month between her first midwife appointment and the scan taking place.
He said it was relatively common for expectant mothers to decline screening when they learned it carried a miscarriage risk of up to one in 50.
Miss Mordel, from Reading, is suing the NHS at the High Court in London (pictured) for compensation for the increased financial costs of caring for her son, and for its impact on her ability to work
Miss Mordel was a young mother with a relatively low risk of a Down’s syndrome baby who had decided against the screening, he said.
The mother, whose social media profile states that she works for a supplier of medical equipment, insisted she had always wanted the test and had not changed her mind. She added: ‘I was reassured so many times everything was all right, that the pregnancy was fine.’
Mr de Navarro said it was ‘inconceivable’ that the sonographer would have written that screening was declined if that was not true. NHS guidelines meant it would have been seen as harassment if a midwife at a later appointment had asked her again if she wanted screening.
The lawyer said: ‘Miss Mordel must have realised she had not had the screening.
‘Not only did her copy of the handheld notes contain the scan report saying that Down’s screening had been declined, but she must have realised that she had never had the result of screening which she had been told to expect.’
The hearing continues.