Doctor performs an abortion on the wrong woman
A doctor in South Korea has performed an abortion on the wrong woman after medical staff failed to confirm her identity and confused her with another patient, authorities have said.
The unnamed woman, from Vietnam, was six weeks pregnant when she visited the clinic to receive nutritional supplements. It has been reported that the nurse failed to confirm her identity and proceeded to inject the woman with anaesthesia.
The doctor then performed an abortion, of which the patient was unaware and remained so after the procedure. It has not been confirmed what method of abortion was carried out. However, there is speculation that it was a surgical abortion due the administration of anaesthetic.
It has been reported that the following day, the woman returned to the clinic complaining of heavy bleeding. It was then revealed to her that her unborn child had been aborted.
Authorities have confirmed that both the doctor and nurse are under investigation on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in injury.
Abortion law in South Korea
Under the current law, abortion in South Korea is illegal, with exemptions made for the circumstances of rape, foetal abnormality and if the mother’s life is endangered.
Despite abortion being prohibited in South Korea, abortions are still widely accessible with the South Korean Health Ministry estimating that over 50,000 abortions were carried out in the country last year.
Tragically, the South Korean abortion law is expected to change by 2020, which will see abortion removed from the criminal code.
SPUC has described the situation as “a tragedy.”
SPUC Scotland Campaign Research Officer, Margaret Akers said: “What this mother has been forced to endure is utterly devastating. The negligence of the staff concerned in so easily confusing the identify of patients shows us just how little many abortion providers care for and respect the health of women. One can only imagine her suffering.”
SPUC has highlighted however that a situation of this gravity has occurred before.
In 2008, it was reported that a pregnant woman in Birmingham was administered with chemical abortion drugs by a nurse after she confused the identity of two patients at a clinic in Edgbaston. The nurse administered the abortion drugs to the woman who had only arrived at the clinic for a consultation. The abortion drugs were intended for another patient who possessed the same name.