A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ordered Dr. Ken Kan of Richmond to pay $325,000 to two separated parents, because he “failed” to diagnose that the unborn child had Down syndrome. The parents would have aborted their baby. It is only the second such ruling in Canada to date, but others are already before the courts.

Lydia Zhang, the mother, 42, says that the 1997 birth of her daughter, Sherry, “totally disrupted our plans,” and that her marriage to Simon Fung collapsed as a result. Fung, 49, now lives with a new wife, toddler Sherry and three other daughters in Los Angeles. Had she known in advance, Zhang says, she would have aborted her daughter.

Justice Michaeal Catliff ruled that Kan was “negligent in failing to ensure” that Zhang received an amniocentesis test, which often accurately determines the presence of Down’s.

He also ruled that the parents were 50 per cent negligent because they failed to find another doctor who would have done the test at a late date.

The parents are considering an appeal, blaming the doctor for 100 per cent negligence in failing to aid and abet their abortion of Sherry.

“This judicial decision is appalling,” said Karen Murawsky, director of Campaign Life Coalition’s public affairs office. “The fact that someone would rather kill their unborn baby than give birth to a child with Down syndrome is a judgement on our society and our hardness of heart towards others.”