Are there any circumstances in which it would be possible to claim miscarriage compensation in Ireland?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Answer:

Experiencing a miscarriage is an exceptionally traumatic experience, but in order to claim miscarriage compensation it has to be proven that the miscarriage was attributable to medical negligence and that you – assuming you were the pregnant mother-to-be – suffered a quantifiable injury as a result.

There are several scenarios where a miscarriage could have been attributable to medical negligence, but only when it can be determined that a course of action – or the lack of action – “in the circumstances and at the time” was responsible for an avoidable miscarriage occurring will you be able to make a miscarriage compensation claim.

These include, but are not limited to:-

  • The erroneous administration, dispensing or prescribing of a medicine which causes a miscarriage
  • The misdiagnosis of a health condition affecting the mother or foetus such as thyroid problems or diabetes
  • Faulty ultra-sound equipment which gives a false reading and leads medical staff to believe that a foetus is healthy
  • The misinterpretation of test results – or lack of testing – for conditions such as for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or a bacterial infection such as ureaplasma urealyticum

In addition to establishing that medical negligence has occurred, you must also have suffered some form of injury in order to claim miscarriage compensation in Ireland. Rarely will you sustain any physical injury due to a miscarriage caused by a negligent medical procedure – or a lack of treatment – but it may be possible to claim for the psychological trauma you have experienced.

If it can be proven (via a psychiatric evaluation) that you have developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or an illness due to depression after your miscarriage, it may be possible to recover miscarriage compensation for an emotional injury. This is a particularly sensitive area of Irish claims law and any application for assessment to the Injuries Board Ireland will be rejected – as are all claims for injuries sustained due to medical negligence.

It is therefore in your best interests to speak with an experienced Irish medical negligence solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity. The solicitor will understand your personal situation and be sympathetic to your circumstances, and once you have explained to the solicitor why you believe you may be entitled to claim compensation for a miscarriage, the solicitor will advise you whether they feel that you have a claim for miscarriage compensation which is worth your while to pursue.