Aussie Woman in Intensive Care After Botched Abortion at MSI

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 26, 2011   |   3:39PM   |   Melbourne, Australia

An Australian woman is in a hospital intensive care united following a failed abortion at a clinic run by the British-based Marie Stopes International abortion business.

The Herald Sun newspaper reports that authorities have launched an investigation after the woman was rushed to a Box Hill Hospital last week after complications ensued following the abortion at the Marie Stopes Maroondah abortion facility, formerly known as Croydon Day Centre. The woman was 23-weeks pregnant at the time of the abortion and experienced organ failure after the procedure.

The newspaper reported that the Medical Board of Australia has already held one meeting concerning the botched abortion and has queried medical staff involved in the abortion. One of the staffers involved in the abortion has come under discipline before from the board for other problems.

Marie Stopes International Australia CEO Maria Deveson Crabbe told the newspaper the abortion business is launching its own internal probe.

”We can confirm that a patient of one of our Victorian day centers on Thursday 18th August was transferred to Box Hill Hospital,” she said. ”At this stage we are unable to discuss their condition, the service they received or reasons for their admittance into hospital due to privacy reasons. As part of our medical quality process and protocol we have commenced a priority internal investigation.”

Victorian Health Department officials reportedly visited the abortion center this week and notified the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

This Marie Stopes abortion clinic is the same facility where dozens of patients came down with hepatits C. Earlier this year, a staffer at the abortion business was charged with infecting more than 50 women with the same strain of hepatitis C.

The heath chief of the Australian state of Victoria released the accusations against the abortion practitioner in April of last year concerning the infections at the Croydon Day Surgery abortion business. The health department investigation into the abortion operation where James Latham Peters was the anesthesiologist involved asking as many as 3,600 women who had abortions at his center since 2006 about their experience at the abortion facility.

The Victorian Police and the Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria revealed last year that the patients’ infections are an identical genetic match to his own hepatitis C strain in 22 of the confirmed 44 cases. Another 19 women showed signs of infection but officials could not confirm whether they obtained it from the abortion center.

Now, Peters is charged with 54 counts of endangering lives negligently causing serious injury and recklessly causing serious injury, according to 9 News in Australia. Peters appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates Court as Prosecutor Helen Faturous told the court it would take time to prosecute the case because of the complexities involved.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Jelena Popovic allowed Peters to be released on bail with a $200,000 bond and the surrender of his passport, the news station reported. He is slated to appear in court again on September 30. Peters has been directed by health officials to not work in any medical or health related field and he must not contact staff at medical centers where he previously worked.

Paula Shelton, an attorney who is filing a class action lawsuit on behalf of the victims, told 9 News, that they are pleased he was finally charged in connection with the infections.

“Obviously the information that is gained throughout any criminal proceedings will be evidence very relevant in any class action,” she said, adding that the criminal case would delay the class action suit.

“It’s pretty tough for them looking down the barrel of a serious chronic illness, which can cause liver failure,” she said. “It’s very interesting that having tested patients from other facilities they’re now saying that there are no infections so there is something very, very special about this (Croydon) clinic that has allowed this to happen.”

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Dr John Carnie told the Herald Sun newspaper the investigation has now concluded but he can’t say whether the infections were intentional.

“It would be very hard to determine some accidental means that would involve this number of patients at just the one clinic,” Dr Carnie said.