Blind World Magazine

Disabled woman sues doctor for allowing her to be born.

November 09, 2005., Australia.

The full bench of the High Court will begin hearing a landmark test case involving a disabled woman who unsuccessfully sued her mother's doctor for wrongful life.

Alexia Harriton, now 24, was born deaf, blind and mentally disabled.

She claims her mother's doctor negligently failed to diagnose rubella infection early in the pregnancy and wrongly reassured her that her baby would not be affected.

Ms Harriton unsuccessfully tried to sue her mother's doctor, Paul Stephens, in the NSW Supreme Court three years ago for negligence.

But in April this year she won the right to take her test case to the High Court, with the hearing set down for Thursday morning.

One of Ms Harriton's lawyers, Kathryn Booth, said the case raised complex legal and philosophical issues which had never been considered by Australia's highest court.

Ms Booth said she would seek leave to have damages awarded to her client, including her costs for medical treatment, special care and housing.

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