An English woman with spina bifida is suing her mother’s former doctor for millions of dollars in health care and compensation expenses, claiming she should never have been born.
Evie Toombes, a 20-year-old equestrian from Lincolnshire, is suing her mother’s GP, Dr. Philip Mitchell, for “miscarriage,” after he allegedly failed to advise his mother to take folic acid supplements before she became pregnant, that her claims resulted in her birth defect, according to The Telegraph.
Toombes was diagnosed with lipomyelomeningocele after his birth in November 2001, a neural tube defect in the spine. Her bones never developed properly along her spinal cord, causing permanent disability.
She claims her mother would never have gotten her if her doctor had informed her that she had to take folic acid supplements to minimize the chances of the defect affecting her baby.
Her lawyer, Susan Rodway, told the British Supreme Court judge that Toombes sued for “being born in a damaged condition” and wanted to recover millions of dollars needed to cover the cost of living with her condition.
Mitchell has denied any responsibility and has objected to giving Caroline Toombes “reasonable advice”, although it is common practice to advise potential mothers to take the supplement before they become pregnant and through the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, The Telegraph reported.
His lawyer argued that it is his practice to advise expectant parents that 400 milligrams of folic acid, but that if the mother had a good diet, folic acid levels are still typically at a healthy level, and supplements would be less important.
“He told me it was not necessary,” she told the judge about her visit to the doctor in February 2001. “I was informed that if I had a good diet earlier, I would not have to take folic acid.”
Rodway said that if she had been advised by Mitchell, she would have postponed having a baby.
“It’s her proof that she would have read up on it and would not have tried to get pregnant until she was convinced she had protected herself as much as possible,” she said, according to The Telegraph.
Rodway added that Caroline Toombes would have had a “normal, healthy” baby, but one who was a “genetically different person” than Evie Toombes.
Currently, despite her “very limited” mobility, the rider hopes to compete in the Paralympic Games despite sometimes being connected to medical tubes for 24 hours a day. As she gets older, she more often becomes confined to a wheelchair. She also suffers from bowel and bladder problems as a result of her condition.
The final verdict is expected at a later date.