I’ve just read a story that combines some of my passions – law, my career and motherhood.
A City lawyer in her mid 30s (earning £85,000) went into hospital with abdominal pains. Doctors however failed to notice that her appendix needed to be removed. By the time they did, it had burst and caused an infection which made her infertile. This is not disputed by the hospital and they have accepted liability.
What struck me, is what the hospital’s lawyers are arguing now in relation to the compensation that she should be awarded.
She’s claiming £1.5mil but the hospital think it should be at £300,000. Why? Because if she hadn’t become infertile, she would have gotten pregnant and her career would have been hampered by the child(ren). Really now?!?
To be honest, I don’t know why I’m surprised. It’s a reality that many women face everyday. It highlights the sacrifices involved when a career minded woman decides to start a family.
Is there ever a right time to start a family? Is it possible to “have it all” as a woman? An American lady who had her children at age 48 and 51 (via donor sperm and eggs) believes that you can to a point. She worked and built a successful company and can afford to hire nannies to care for her daughters. She’s however not married and didn’t take that much time off for maternity leave. Can’t really say I agree with her but each to their own.
Is this going to be the ‘new normal’? Will women now be forced to delay motherhood just so that they can progress in their careers?
Going back to the lawyer, I am sad that she lost the ability to conceive naturally. I know from personal experience how costly a doctor’s negligence can be. However, she has other options open to her and I wish her luck.
The hearing continues. Read more about the case here.