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Mum denies ignoring drug risks to baby

A WOMAN has denied that she "expelled" from her mind warnings about taking prescription drugs during pregnancy because of guilt about her daughter being born with disabilities.

Lisa McGillin told the High Court that if she had she been told there were serious risks to the foetus from a mood-stabiliser drug, she would have stopped using it in pregnancy.

It is alleged that her daughter Rebecca,who is suing through her father Barry, of Gainsborough Avenue, Mala-hide, Co Dublin, suffered the injuries as a result of negligent treatment of her mother Lisa by two doctors, consultant psychiatrist Prof Patricia Casey and obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Mary Holohan.

Rebecca was born in 2001 with a deformed hand and other disabilities consistent with Sodium Valproate Syndrome. The claims are denied.

Mrs McGillin, who had a psychiatric illness and was taking the drug Epilim, said she is not responsible for Rebecca's injuries because she was given "incorrect treatment". However, she still felt guilty about them and was in court because "someone is responsible".

Pat Hanratty, for Dr Holohan, said no one was saying Ms McGillin was responsible, she was not, but he was suggesting her guilty feelings meant she had expelled from her mind that she had been advised about the risks from Epilim.

However, Mrs McGillin said that had she been told to come off Epilim, she would have done, but maintained that neither defendant advised her to do so.

She also denied it was "implausible" to say she would have stopped taking Epilim during pregnancy as she had resumed taking Lithium before the end of the first 12 weeks of pregnancy when she had prior information about risks to the foetus in the first three months of pregnancy from Lithium.

She said she had gone off Lithium at the outset of pregnancy but had a relapse of her illness before the first three months of pregnancy were over and had taken Lithium then after consulting Prof Casey.

She said Prof Casey had not discussed with her a number of documents relating to the effects of Lithium in pregnancy. She agreed documents were posted to her by Prof Casey in September 1998 and in August 2000, a month after she became pregnant. She disagreed it was clear from those documents Lithium represented a danger in pregnancy.

The case resumes on Tuesday.