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Dublin: 16°C Tuesday 26 October 2021

Doctor ordered to pay child maintenance after failed abortion

A woman in Spain sued the doctor for damages after she believed she had a successful termination when she was eight weeks pregnant. She gave birth to a healthy baby in 2010.

A DOCTOR IN Spain has been ordered to pay monthly maintenance to the mother of an 18-month-old baby after a failed abortion.

The woman had sought the abortion from a gynaecologist when she was around eight weeks pregnant and, according to The Guardian, she was told after a scan that the procedure had been successful.

However three months later the woman, who is 24-years-old, returned to the clinic believing that she had fallen pregnant again. A fresh scan showed that she was in fact five months pregnant and she was refused a termination on the basis that she was past the legal limit for abortions. The woman said that she was told it would be a crime to have the procedure at that stage.

A judge in Palma de Mallorca has ordered the doctor to pay the woman a lump sum of €150,000 in “moral damages” and €978 a month for the next 25 years.

El Pais reports that the court ruled that the doctor was guilty of medical negligence and that the failed abortion was a result of human error, rather than malfunctioning equipment.

The judge in the case said that the doctor had paid almost no attention to the scan carried out two weeks after the initial procedure, and that the mother had suffered enormous stress because she did not know if the baby would be born healthy.

The doctor’s lawyers have said that the decision will be appealed. According to El Pais legal experts have doubted that the decision will be upheld, but a lawyer for the mother has said that she is prepared to take her case to the Supreme Court.

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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