Unequal Healthcare for Patients with Learning Disabilities
Paralympic gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson was quoted on the BBC Sport website on 9 December 2019, regarding the negative attitudes which she experienced as a disabled woman while pregnant. The article explains that when pregnant with her daughter in 2001, she experienced intrusive questions from strangers and came up against an attitude that she should not have children because of her condition.
Clearly, these attitudes are unacceptable and hurtful to the many disabled people, such as Baroness Grey-Thompson, who are raising a family or planning to do so in the future. Unfortunately, however, negative attitudes and a lack of practical support can be among the obstacles that disabled people face.
We are often closely involved in developing packages of support required by disabled people. Depending upon the individual’s needs, this might include the support required to have children (including assisted conception) and to undertake the everyday activities involved in looking after a child (such as additional assistance from support workers, specialist equipment, or use of technology).
This is most obviously relevant in medical negligence or personal injury claims for adults who have become disabled prior to starting a family or while their children are young. However, it can also be considered in claims brought for disabled children, where there is a realistic possibility that they may one day chose to have a family of their own.
It is important that disabled people are not denied the opportunity to become parents because of stereotypes or inaccurate assumptions made about them.
If you would like to discuss a possible clinical negligence claim please contact one of our Medical Negligence & Personal Injury lawyers on 020 7814 1200, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suzanne Farg specialises in clinical negligence and has experience of a wide range of claims including those relating to complex injuries (such as neurological damage and cerebral palsy) and claims against private healthcare providers.
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