Aus hospital aborts wrong foetus

2011-11-24 14:10

Melbourne - An Australian hospital was investigating on Thursday after a woman carrying 32-week-old twins had the wrong foetus terminated in a botched procedure it called "a terrible tragedy".

Doctors had advised the woman that one of the boys, whom she had already named, had a congenital heart defect that would require years of operations, if he survived at all, the Herald Sun reported.

She made the heartbreaking decision to abort the child but on Tuesday the wrong baby was terminated.

‘Distressing clinical accident’

The woman then endured a lengthy caesarean section at the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne during which the life of the sick foetus was also ended.

"The Royal Women's Hospital can confirm a distressing clinical accident occurred on Tuesday," the hospital said in a statement.

"This is a terrible tragedy and the hospital is deeply sorry for the loss suffered by the patient and her family.

"We are conducting a full investigation and continue to offer the family and affected staff every support."

A friend of the woman told the newspaper the family was struggling to cope.

"She went to the hospital with two babies and now she has none. And she had the heartache of giving birth to her sick baby. She's traumatised," she said.

"The hospital said it had followed correct procedure, but how could this happen?"

Media attention adds to strain

The family later issued a statement requesting privacy.

"We appreciate the public interest in what has happened but we would have preferred the Herald Sun journalist involved in breaking the news of our tragedy had respected our request that he not run this story," they said.

"The significant media attention triggered by this article has added to our stress and has put our privacy at risk at what has been a very difficult time for us."

Victorian state Premier Ted Baillieu told reporters it was a tragedy for everyone involved.

"I don't think it's appropriate for anybody to draw any conclusions other than this is a horrible tragedy," he said.

"We'll make sure that the investigation is as thorough as it can be."

  • JohnnyBGood - 2011-11-24 14:24

    What a terrible loss...

      Lila - 2011-11-24 14:47

      It's murder.

  • Andrew - 2011-11-24 14:24

    Why was she having an abortion at 32 weeks and why was the hospital allowing it? Heart defects would have been detected at the 20 week scan - that is the time to make the decision to carry on or abort; at 32 weeks (in my books) abortion is cold blooded murder!

      Homemissionary - 2011-11-24 14:38

      I'm in the minority.I believe any abortion is murder.As soon as a heartbeat is detected,it's killing. I've had friends who were told that they or the baby would 'definitely' die if they didn't abort.But they didn't.And they didn't..die! I'm in the minority that says "Whatever happens,let me not be guilty of willfully taking a life." And yes,I know of raped girls who kept their babies too.Same with children from incestuous fathers.Not everyone in that situation actually WANTS to abort.

      Adre - 2011-11-24 21:02

      Homemissionary, seems that you are not in the minority after all, look at all the thumbs up! I agree with you, it's cold blooded murder, selfishness and no doctor should play god like this!

  • Ed - 2011-11-24 14:31

    andrew...get over yourself. there are too many people on this planet. before you respond with either a quasi-religous or fanatic burn the bra speech about how only god has the right to take life, think first. think about whether it is better for a child, with severe deformities, brain, heart problems, missing limbs etc to be born and live a life of pure suffering...or...for modern medical technology to rather aid the parents and to end it before. sorry to say, but it is a logical choice. logic does not however come into religous speak. anyway, next time you need a brain scan or need your kids to go to the doctor, rather take them to your local pastor, maybe he will be better at the diagnosis:) otherwise, this is a tragic incident...i guess that even the aussies make mistakes!

      Andrew - 2011-11-24 15:30

      @ Ed: So if I understand it correctly; by your reasoning why don't we round up every person on the Earth with a handicap and kill them in the name of population control. I would love for you to expand on this theory of yours. Whilst we're at it, why not make it legal to kill people with only minor defects; it wasn't so long ago that there was another person advocating that sort of eugenics, his name was Adolf Hitler. The child never had missing limbs etc, it had a congenital heart defect. So it may have to have a few operations; I highly suspect that anyone when given the option to have a few operations and maybe live or die without trying would select option A and give it a go. The child was never given the choice. I never claimed to be pro-life, if I had I wouldn't have included the correct time to consider an abortion. At 32 weeks the child is fully formed and if born at that time has a very good chance of living (a good mate of mine just had a premmie baby at 32 weeks and his son is doing very well and is healthy). At 32 weeks the child deserves a fighting chance; let the doctors use, as you correctly called it "modern medical technology" to try save the life. You don't kill because there is a heart problem, you let the baby be born and you try your damnedest to fix the problem. That's what a real parent does.

      Adre - 2011-11-24 21:04

      Ed and Rabbit, why don't you kill yourselves, seems that you are not worth any thing, then there are two less eating breathing selfish oxygen thieves to occupy this so called over populated world!

  • Ndivhuho - 2011-11-24 14:42

    This is the most painful tragedy I have read this week. being a mother of twins myself, one of which almost died @ birth , I pray for the mother and the family to get through this. It is painful to loose a child but to loose two babies at the same time is a tragedy that no mother should have to experience. May God be with the family during this difficult time.

  • wnkambule - 2011-11-24 14:51

    Thy shall not kill

  • Donette - 2011-11-24 14:52

    go google the 180degrees movie and then tell me you still accept abortion

  • Hannetjie - 2011-11-24 14:56

    What a tradegy. I hope the family takes the hospital to court although it will not bring their child back!

  • Michelle - 2011-11-24 15:08

    This is what happens when humans want to play God!! Now a healthy baby is also dead!! Tragic!!!

  • Paul - 2011-11-24 15:16

    " a distressing clinical accident" because it is a corporate hospital?

  • kerrimg - 2011-11-24 15:30

    such shame to the family to make the worse decision of their lives and then the hospital makes a blunder and aborts the wrong child rib little ones sorry for the family

  • Muenda - 2011-11-24 15:44

    The Doctor who perfomed this procedure must be from Orania! right...? am i a winger?

  • Izak - 2011-11-24 18:45

    This is an interesting question a pro-choice advocate should answer. Do you feel bad for the mother because she lost her (healthy) baby, or do you feel bad for the baby?

  • Gail - 2011-11-24 20:17

    Imagine this scenario. This woman was living in a remoe village miles from good medical facilities and carries the twins w/out knowing that one of the twins has a lethal defect. The sick twin dies in utero at 36 weeks placing both mother and child now at risk of death. In all probability both mother and remaining child WILL die. Sad but you know what it happens all the time in Africa and South America not to mention girl children being born alive and immediately put to death by the family members who value boys more than girls in China and Armenia. Sad as the above scenario is which family would you rather be and which alternative is best for the planet and the families concerned?

      Andrew - 2011-11-25 12:50

      What's the point of imagining that scenario; it has zero relevance. The facts of the case were they knew exactly what was going on and the situation could be monitored and action could be taken if and when required. If they had done that then both babies would still be alive right now

      Gail - 2011-11-25 13:02

      I am making the point that this woman is still alive and can hopefully still have children. Sad as it is that there was a medical mistake this is precisely because mankind think they can play God. In my scenario which does happen in remote communities mother and both babies died. Que sera sera. It is called natural selection and playing God isn't being God. It is exactly this that has caused the imbalances of people on our planet. Nature should be left to take its course everywhere.

  • pages:
  • 1