Join Date: Nov 2009
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Dr Forced to pay child support after failed abortion...
A Spanish doctor has been ordered to pay for the upkeep of a child after a failed abortion operation meant the boy's mother was obliged to see her pregnancy through to the end.
In a unique case, a court in Palma de Mallorca ordered the unnamed doctor to pay almost €1,000 (£800) a month in maintenance for the child until he reaches his 25th birthday.
"There has never been a case like this before in Spain," said Eva Munar, lawyer for the 24-year-old mother. "We don't know if it has ever happened anywhere else in the world."
The boy was born in October 2010, six months after his mother had gone for an abortion at the city's Emece clinic. The operation had been performed when the mother was almost seven weeks pregnant. The doctor told her two weeks later that a scan proved she was no longer pregnant.
In his sentence, Judge Francisco Pérez said the doctor had paid virtually no attention to the scan, though Munar said the clinic had not produced a copy.
"The scan lasted three minutes and I was out again," the mother told journalists on Thursday. "It was: 'You are fine, off you go and carry on with your life as normal.' " She did not return to the clinic for three months, and only after becoming convinced she must have become pregnant by mistake once more.
A fresh scan revealed, however, that this was the same pregnancy. She was already into her sixth month and past the 22-week limit for abortions in Spain. "I sought advice and was told that it would be a crime to abort at that stage," she said.
The woman, who had hidden her pregnancy from her family out of fear at their reaction, was forced to confront her parents with the news. She and the child now live with them. Despite the fact that a suction technique had been used to try to remove the embryo, the boy was born healthy.
The mother sued the doctor for damages, with the court awarding her €150,000 (£120,000). It also decided the doctor and his insurer should pay maintenance of €978 a month for 25 years, or a further €293,000.
"I am living off my parents now, and it shouldn't be like that," the mother said.
Among other things, Pérez pointed out that the mother had suffered huge stress because she did not know whether her child would be born healthy after the failed abortion attempt. The consequences of the doctor's error, Perez said, would be with the mother forever.
"I am OK now, because I have had to accept things. There is no other option. I'm happy with my son," she said. "When I have to explain all this to him, I'll try to make sure that he feels OK about it. It was back then that he was not wanted, not now."
Munar said: "Obviously this has changed her life. This is not what she was planning and she certainly didn't expect it to happen after visiting the clinic.
"I am just glad the child was born healthy and we didn't have to bring a different kind of negligence case."
The doctor's lawyers are reportedly set to appeal against the decision.
Damn! He didn't even knock the girl up!