Glasgow & West Scotland

Lilias McConville sues over aborted baby gender 'error'

A woman is suing Scotland's largest health board over claims a doctor misled her about the gender of a baby she had aborted on medical grounds.

Lilias McConville, 49, terminated her pregnancy in 1992 but grieved for the child whom she named Henry.

After the Alder Hey scandal over the retention of child organs she asked about her own baby in 2001 only to be told the child was a girl.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) is contesting her action for damages.

Mrs McConville's action, lodged at Glasgow Sheriff Court, show that she terminated her four-month pregnancy in August 1992 after being told her unborn child had Spina Bifida.

'Extremely distressed'

Court papers state that the mother-of-three was "extremely distressed" on admission to the Queen Mother Hospital in Glasgow.

Mrs McConville claims that about an hour after the procedure, when the doctor checked on her - she asked what sex her baby was and was told it was a boy.

The court papers state: "After she became aware of the sex of the foetus, Mrs McConville decided she would like to name the baby Henry."

She claims that weeks after the operation and post mortem examination, she met with medics and that she was not told then about the sex of the baby.

A poem was written for her baby and it, along with a card in the name of Henry, was put in the Book of Remembrance at the hospital.

It is said Mrs McConville, from Knightswood, Glasgow, visited the hospital every year with her family to "remember the son that they lost".

In 2001, Mrs McConville saw a TV report about children's organs which had been kept without permission at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool in the late 1980s and 1990s.

'Loss, injury and damage'

She contacted the Queen Mother Hospital about to find out about her child's organs and was advised they had not been kept.

The court papers state that Mrs McConville was "distraught" after learning that her child was a girl as she had spent "approximately nine years grieving and remembering a son whom she named after her husband".

Mrs McConville claims that she has "suffered loss, injury and damage" and is suing for a sum of £15,000.

As well as adjustment disorder, she is also said to be suffering from anxiety and depression.

The 49-year-old claims Yorkhill NHS Trust - which became part of NHS GGC in 2006 - is liable for their staff including the doctor who she alleges told her the wrong gender.

In the paperwork, NHS GGC says it is believed that Mrs McConville was not advised that her terminated foetus was female.

Evidence is due to be heard a hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court next month.

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