British pro-life campaigners are critical of a High Court ruling that has awarded compensation to a couple because their daughter was born with Down syndrome. The ruling, handed down by Mr. Justice Morland, suggests that a doctor’s strong Catholic faith influenced his treatment of a patient, as well as his failure to send her for an amniocentesis test.

Dr. George Tse Sak Kwun had incorrectly recorded the age of Ann Enright as 27 instead of 37 – an important mistake, because the risk of having a Down syndrome baby increases sharply with age. Enright says she would have had an abortion if she had known her baby had such a condition. She and her husband John now stand to be awarded up to 500,000 pounds in compensation as a result.

The judge said Kwun’s adherence to Catholic teachings might have affected his approach when discussing amniocentesis and possible “termination of pregnancy.” He ruled that Kwun, a midwife and a doctor at the hospital where Amy, now five, was born had all been negligent in failing to inform the Enrights of the heightened risk.

Josephine Quintavalle, of the Pro-Life Alliance organization, says the ruling is “utterly offensive” to every child born or unborn with a disability. “Are Catholics the only people in this country who may be accused of not wishing to engage in this practice?” she asks. “We really have to face the fact that we are in the grip of state-authorized eugenics.”