After giving birth to a child with Down syndrome, the A.K. (a forty year old woman) alleged that she was denied adequate and timely medical care in the form of antenatal screening tests. She claimed that her doctor failed to refer her for proper prenatal testing in accordance with the medical protocols in place. According to the doctor, A.K. was provided with the proper referral for the testing, but that she failed to take the test. Based on a note posted in her medical record, she had been referred to undergo an alpha-fetoprotein (“AFP”) test but failed to attend because she was hospitalized. A.K. claimed that she was never notified of the screening tests, that the note in her medical record was falsified, and that even if she had been referred for the test, the referral was too late and in direct violation of the Cabinet of Ministries Regulations because she was a high-risk patient on account of her age. A.K. provided a different copy of her medical records covering the date the referral was allegedly made, wherein the alleged referral was not recorded.

A.K. filed a complaint to Latvia’s Inspectorate for Quality Control of Medical Treatment (MADEKKI) as a result of her claim that the doctor failed to refer her for the testing. The MADEKKI determined that A.K. received medical care in compliance with domestic laws, but gave the doctor an administrative fine for failing to ensure that A.K. actually underwent the prenatal testing.

A.K. requested that the District Prosecutor’s Office investigate the discrepancies in the two copies of her medical records to determine whether her medical records were falsified. Although the doctor admitted that A.K.’s medical records had disappeared for a period of time, the police refused to institute criminal proceedings in relation to the alleged falsification of documents or negligence. Although A.K. appealed this decision and the District Prosecutor’s Office ordered further investigation of the matter, the police again refused to institute criminal proceedings. A.K. appealed to the Regional Prosecutor’s Office and criminal proceedings were instituted, resulting in forensic testing that determined that A.K.’s medical records were supplemented with new information over an extended period of time. Several months later, A.K. was informed that, due to the expiration of the statute of limitations, the criminal proceedings were terminated.

A.K. lodged a complaint for damages in Riga Regional Court against the hospital, contending that the doctor had acted negligently by not ensuring she received the testing and that her medical records had been altered. She alleged that if she had known that the child had a congenital disease, she would have had an abortion, and sought compensation for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages, including for her lost wages and maintenance of her daughter. The court allowed the doctor to testify and provide oral evidence, but denied A.K. this right. Even though the doctor had been given an administrative fine for her failure to ensure A.K. received the proper testing, the court dismissed A.K.’s claim, finding that there was insufficient evidence the doctor had been at fault and that there was not a causal link between the doctor’s actions and the birth of A.K.’s daughter. A.K.’s appeals to the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court and to the Senate of the Supreme Court were both denied.

A.K. brought a complaint before the European Court of Human Rights arguing that her right to respect for private and family life (Article 8) had been violated.