A 20-year-old showjumper from Lincolnshire, England, is suing her mother’s general practitioner (GP), claiming she should never have been born. Evie Toombes, a resident of Skegness, Lincs, is suffering from a condition called Spina Bifida, wherein a baby is born with a deformed spine and spinal cord. The spine consists of gaps due to stunted development. Despite the illness, Evie had made a sparkling career in show jumping and was even felicitated with the ‘Inspiration Young Person Award’ in 2018, where she also met the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. The showjumper star is now, in a landmark case, has filed a lawsuit of ‘Wrongful Life’ against her mother’s GP, Dr Philip Mitchell, for his failure to give the right advice regarding medications to her mother, resulting which, she was born with a permanent disability.
According to Evie’s claims, her mother, before her pregnancy, needed to consume folic acid supplements to curb the risk of spina bifida to the minimum. If the GP had given the right advice, her mother would have put off conceiving Evie.
“Dr Philip told me that it was not necessary. He advised that if I maintain a good, healthy diet, I would not have to take folic acid,” Evie’s mother told the judge, as reported by The Scottish Sun.
According to Evie’s lawyer, Mrs Rodway, her parents were refraining from conceiving a child but went on with it after consulting Dr Philip. “If Mrs Toombes had been properly advised by Dr Philip, she would not have gone ahead to conceive as quickly as she did and would have waited to complete the course of folic acid treatment,” Mrs Rodway said.
Defending Dr Philips, his lawyer, Michael De Navarro QC, denied the allegations saying that the couple was given “reasonable advice” pertaining to the desirability of folic acid supplements.
Evie suffers from Lipomyelomeningocele (LMM), a neural tube defect to the spine. Due to this, her mobility is very restricted. The disability, as reported to the court, will proliferate with age, and Evie’s dependence on a wheelchair will increase as she gets older.