A woman with learning difficulties who claims she became
pregnant while on a psychiatric ward will not be compensated for
the cost of bringing up her daughter.
The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is suing
East Kent Community NHS Trust, claiming she would never have become
pregnant had she been properly supervised.
Her counsel Nicholas Yell claimed she was made pregnant by
another patient while resident in a mixed sex psychiatric ward at a
Canterbury hospital in 1997.
However, the trust continues to deny all liability, and disputes
claims that the woman became pregnant while under its care.
The woman, who was left with brain injuries by a childhood
illness, is seeking compensation for the suffering involved in an
unplanned pregnancy and birth. But the largest part of her claim
– to cover the costs of bringing up her daughter to the age
of 18 – has been disallowed.
In a landmark decision at the high court, Mr Justice Cooke ruled
it would “not accord with moral sense” for him to make the hospital
cover the costs of rearing the girl, who is cared for by her