Latest News & Views

Posted on 24th November 2017

Record Compensation Award For Wrongful Birth

In 2006 a woman attended her GP and asked for a test to be carried out for the haemophilia gene because she had just found out a relative had the condition. In a mix up, the woman was given the all clear.

Five years later she gave birth to a baby boy but found that he had autism and an aggressive type of haemophilia. Finding her son had the condition, she underwent genetic testing which confirmed she was a carrier of the condition.

The clinical negligence compensation claim against the GP who gave her the all clear centred around her point that if she had known she was a carrier of the blood condition, she would not have continued with the pregnancy because there was a high risk of her child being born with autism.

The lawyers acting for the defendant agreed to a compensation payment of £1.4 million but would not increase their offer because they said it was “just bad luck” that the child was autistic.

The judge in the case however upheld the claimant’s claim and awarded £9 million. The judge commented that the child “would not have been born but for the defendant’s negligence. [The mum] therefore would not have had a child with haemophilia and autism”


Wrongful birth is a legal term that describes when a child is born with a genetic disability or illness that a medical practitioner should have picked up on during pregnancy and informed the parents about. Since it is a legal term, wrongful birth always describes an incidence of negligence.

In compensation claims, the onus is on the claimant’s side to prove wrongful birth. You can also make a claim for failed sterilisation or failed vasectomy, when individuals believed a pregnancy to be impossible because of a previous procedure but they find themselves pregnant because the procedure has not been successful.

If you have been given test results which were incorrect and suffered an injury because of it, you may be entitled to claim compensation for clinical negligence. Contact us on 0330 355 9210 or for a free claim assessment.