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Court to decide whether mother committed crime against child with fetal alcohol disorder

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g6705 (Published 07 November 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6705
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1The BMJ

The Court of Appeal for England and Wales is to rule on whether an alcoholic mother whose daughter was born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder committed a violent crime against her child, in a test case that could open the way for dozens of similarly affected children to win payments from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

The case has been brought on behalf of a 7 year old girl with developmental problems by the unnamed local council in northwest England that is responsible for her. Publicity over the case has sparked a widespread debate over the dangers of drinking during pregnancy, and charities have voiced …

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