ECHR fines Turkey for ‘erroneous prenatal diagnosis’
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on April 10 ordered for Turkey to pay compensation to a family for the violation of the “right to respect private and family life” over a case claiming an Istanbul hospital had made an “erroneous prenatal diagnosis” in 1997.
The ECHR’s ruling came after the family applied to the court with the complaint that Havva Eryiğit had given birth to one baby instead of twins, contrary to what she had been told.
Eryiğit had been told she was pregnant with twins after being taken to Istanbul’s Süleymaniye Hospital with sudden pain on Nov. 7, 1997. However, the next morning on Nov. 8, 1997, she gave birth to only one baby at Istanbul’s Zeynep Kamil Hospital.
Six months later, Eryiğit’s family filed a lawsuit against the Turkish Health Ministry, claiming there had been a second baby but it had disappeared shortly after the birth. At the end of the criminal investigation, the Turkish prosecutor discontinued the proceedings on the grounds that there had been “an error in the diagnosis” on account of Eryiğit’s excessive weight and there had never been a twin baby.
Relying in particular on Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (right to respect private and family life), the Eryiğit family applied to the ECHR indicating they had not been duly compensated by the Turkish authorities regarding the incident.
The family also alleged their case had not been examined promptly and effectively. As a result, on April 9, the ECHR ruled for Turkey to pay 3,000 euros in non-pecuniary damage and an additional 2,000 euros in costs and expenses to the applicants jointly.