In a mistake that turned deadly, a South Korean hospital is accused of aborting the wrong unborn baby after allegedly mixing up two pregnant patients’ charts.
The mother, who is not named in reports, was six weeks pregnant when she and her husband visited the Seoul hospital on Aug. 7 for a pregnancy test, The Korea Times reports.
After confirming the pregnancy, the hospital recommended a nutritional supplement; but while she was waiting for it, a nurse and doctor allegedly mixed up her chart with that of another pregnant patient scheduled for an abortion, the report continues.
On Monday, Seoul Gangseo Police told ABC News that the doctor and nurse admitted to the mistake, and they are being charged with professional negligence.
The alleged victims are a family from Vietnam. They went to the hospital seeking a pregnancy confirmation and prenatal care for their unborn child. Instead, their baby was killed.
Here’s more from the Times:
It was confirmed that she was six weeks pregnant, and she was told she needed an IV solution for better nutrition.
When she was waiting for the IV, a nurse came with the wrong patient’s chart which was for a woman who needed surgery for a missed miscarriage, in which the fetus had died but not yet been miscarried. Without confirming the woman’s identity, the nurse injected her with an anesthetic drug instead of placing her on an IV.
As she fell asleep, a gynecologist then conducted the surgery, also failing to check the patient’s charts.
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The pregnant mother said she began to bleed when she went home. She said she called the hospital but was told that the doctor had left for the day. Because the bleeding did not stop, she said she returned to the hospital the next day. She said a different doctor gave her a check-up and informed her that her baby had been aborted.
The doctor and nurse may face only limited charges. According to the Asia News Network, “Charges of abortion without consent were considered, but as the victim was not aware she was to go through the abortion and thus could have expressed neither consent nor dissent, the two suspects could not be arrested on such charges, police explained.”
LifeNews.com has reported about similar deadly abortion mix-ups in the past. In 2017, a Canadian woman filed a complaint with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba after she said her doctor mistakenly gave her the abortion drug misoprostol. The drug on its own is not always effective in killing an unborn baby, and the woman’s child fortunately survived. However, she said she constantly was afraid for her unborn child’s life until she gave birth.
In another case in 2011 in Australia, a hospital allegedly aborted the “wrong” twin after one was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. After discovering that they had aborted the healthy twin by mistake, the doctors allegedly aborted the sick twin as well.
LifeNews also reported about another alleged abortion mix-up in India in 2017. The mother was 25-weeks pregnant when a nurse allegedly gave her labor-inducing abortion drugs by mistake. The mother said she gave birth to severely premature twin girls; one survived, but the other did not.