The U.K.’s National Health Services just shelled out more than £70 million (about $87 million) over the past five years to parents of babies born with disabilities who say they would’ve aborted their children if they’d known they would be born deformed.
A total of 16 families have so far received money from the NHS after claiming that their babies, who were born with conditions ranging from Down syndrome to microcephaly, constitute “wrongful births” because doctors failed to determine their anomalies before they were born.
The Sunday Times reported:
The bulk of the payouts were to parents who claimed that antenatal screening failed to warn them of the risk that their baby would be born with a disability. The parents argued that had they known their child had a high chance of being born disabled, they would have undergone a termination.
The payments for what is legally termed “wrongful birth” were made by the NHS Litigation Authority over the past five years and were revealed to The Sunday Times last week.
The claims are for babies born with a wide range of conditions, including Down’s syndrome.
The Bristol Post adds:
The biggest amount - £40 million - was paid to parents who said failed antenatal screening had meant abnormalities were missed, with an average of around £2.5 million each going to 16 families.
Amanda McGuinn, one mother who sued the NHS for a “wrongful birth,” reportedly told the Times that she’d have aborted her daughter, Matilda, if she’d known her child would have been born with microcephaly, and accused doctors of being negligent in checking for fetal anomalies early in her pregnancy.
Abortions are allowed in the U.K. up to 24 weeks, unless the baby is diagnosed with a deformity – then, abortion is permitted up until birth.
In moments like these, it’s often difficult to remember that the United Kingdom once stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States to defeat a genocidal tyrant who believed that those who were born disabled were somehow less than human and worthy of extermination.
Now, these two countries, which once sacrificed so much in defense of the most vulnerable, have found themselves just as depraved.