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Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 15:47 GMT
Hearing for abortion bid mother
Stacey Dow with daughter - Perthshire Picture Agency
Stacy Dow wants damages to compensate for Jayde's upbringing
Hospital bosses are attempting to have a damages bid from a woman who gave birth following an abortion thrown out.

Stacy Dow launched the 250,000 civil claim against the NHS to pay for the twin who survived the procedure at Perth Royal Infirmary.

Ms Dow said she needed to cover the "financial burden" of raising her daughter Jayde.

But Perth Sheriff Court heard the 21-year-old was given no guarantees the abortion would be successful.

Ms Dow, who had Jayde when she was 16, is claiming Tayside University Hospitals NHS Trust failed to properly carry out the abortion at Perth Royal Infirmary in January 2001, constituting a breach of contract.

Nothing said to (Ms Dow) by the doctor could or did mention a warranty that her pregnancy would be terminated
Advocate David Stephenson

She decided to have an abortion when she fell pregnant with twins, but a few months later discovered she was still pregnant with one of them, by which time a second abortion was too late.

Hospital bosses, who are defending the action, say Jayde was a normal and healthy child and that the 250,000 claim was excessive.

They accepted one twin was left behind during the abortion but said a doctor carried out the proper checks after the termination and could find no evidence of a remaining foetus.

Termination checks

Advocate David Stephenson, representing the hospital authority, said the case should not proceed.

He said no contract had existed between Ms Dow and her consultant when she was told an abortion would be carried out, so her claim was not relevant.

"Nothing said to (Ms Dow) by the doctor could or did mention a warranty that her pregnancy would be terminated," he said.

"NHS patients do not normally contract with their health trust or health boards for the provision of medical service.

"These services are delivered as part of a statutory obligation."

'No guarantee'

Mr Stephenson said no guarantee had been given to Ms Dow that the abortion would be successful.

He added that only in "truly extraordinary" circumstances would any sort of contract between a doctor and a patient be entered into.

Ms Dow is said to have suffered "distress and anxiety" from the discovery of her continued pregnancy and "pain and discomfort" when she had her daughter by Caesarean section.

She also argued she had suffered economically through a loss of earnings because she was a single mother.

Sheriff Michael Fletcher will decide how the case will proceed, following the legal discussions.

Damages claim for abortion twin
07 Dec 05 |  Scotland

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