A woman who is suffering with terminal ovarian cance has settled her High Court action against the HSE for €2million in Failure to treat compensation. The woman, who cannot be named by order of the court, took the compensation action following an alleged failure to take proper measures to safeguard her from the danger of developing the cancer.
Regardless of the fact that there was a known family history of ovarian cancer she was not given genetic testing. In September 2017, when she was finally sent for the genetic testing , after she had started to develop the ovarian cancer, the results showed that she had been a “carrier all the time.”
Counsel for the woman Patrick Treacy SC advised the court the HSE would be sending a send a “letter of regret” to her. The settlement followed mediation talks with the woman and her family and does not include an admission of liability.
Mr Treacy stated that it was her wish that her case would improve the genetic screening services.
The legal action was taken by the woman, her husband and family against the Health Service Executive. In 2015 the woman underwent a colposcopy and it was discovered that she experience mild changes in the cervix area. Later, in February 2017, test showed that she had ovarian tumours and pathology indicated high grade 3 serious cancer of both ovaries and she underwent a hysterectomy.
Following a genetic analysis in September 2017, that the woman had a pathogenic mutation in the BRCA1 gene. In other words, she was a person who was at high risk of ovarian cancer. It was also claimed that the woman’s cancer was allowed to develop and spread unidentified and untreated until she was finally diagnosed with Stage 3c high grade serious ovarian cancer in February 2017.
The Health Service Executive denied the allegations. Mr Justice Paul Butler approved the Failure to Treat compensation settlement.