The parents of three children who are the remaining survivors of a set of quadruplets are expected to receive more than £1 million in damages from Bromley Health Authority after claiming that the children were 'wrongfully conceived'. Lawyers for the couple argued that Clive and Vivien Heath were not given the chance to selectively reduce Mrs Heath's pregnancy to two babies. They also said that the couple received substandard fertility and antenatal care, which resulted in the death of one of the quads and the serious disabilities suffered by the three others.
The couple had embarked upon fertility treatment after they had trouble conceiving their second child. Mrs Heath was prescribed Clomid but still failed to conceive. She was then prescribed a more powerful drug, Metrodin, to stimulate her ovaries to ripen eggs and another drug, Pro-fasi, to initiate ovulation. It was argued that doctors should have ensured against the over-production of eggs, or should have given Mrs Heath the option to reduce the number of fetuses once she had conceived. The authority claimed that the couple had refused a referral where that option would have been discussed, but admitted a breach of the duty of care to Mrs Heath. It did not accept liability for the injuries, but has agreed to pay 66 per cent of their individual claims, the amount of which has yet to be accurately assessed.
Arguing for the wrongful conception verdict, the Heath's lawyer said that Mrs Heath 'should have been warned in clear terms of the hazards presented by a quadruple pregnancy... If properly treated, she would have conceived a single child. It would not have been any of the quads who were born. It would have been someone completely different.' His argument for wrongful conception was based on the injuries suffered by the quads rather than the fact that they were born at all.