Hospital Kills “Wrong” Twin in Abortion, Both Babies Now Dead

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 23, 2011   |   6:28PM   |   Melbourne, Australia

A hospital in Australia making news for having killed the “wrong” twin in an abortion of a healthy unborn child when the mother of the babies wanted an abortion on her child who doctors said had little chance to live. Now, both babies are dead.

The Herald Sun newspaper reports that the unnamed woman from Victoria had already named her unborn children when doctors told her one of the unborn babies had a congenital heart defect that would requires years of operations, assuming the baby survived long enough to have them. The mother decided to have an abortion, terminating the life of one of her unborn children and allowing the other baby to live.

The newspaper indicates an ultrasound tech checked on the healthy baby before the abortion and determine the child was in a separate amniotic sac than the sibling. However, the abortion, which took place Tuesday afternoon, went awry and the wrong baby was injected with drugs meant to end his or her life.

After the mother was informed of the error, doctors did an emergency Cesarean section and the sick unborn baby was killed in a three-hour operation, the newspaper indicates.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Women’s Hospital apologized, the Herald Sun reported, for the “distressing clinical accident” and said the hospital would conduct an investigation of the mistake.

“The Royal Women’s Hospital can confirm a distressing clinical accident occurred (on Tuesday),” the representative said. “This is a terrible tragedy and the hospital is deeply sorry for the loss suffered by the patient and her family.”

A friend of the mother told the newspaper she is having a difficult time following the error.

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“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 traumatized,” she said. “The hospital said it had followed correct procedure, but how could this happen? The ultrasound clinician said she checked three times before the termination because she didn’t want to make a mistake.”

The newspaper indicates the family is considering legal action and key health officials said they want to know more about how the hospital could have let this accident occur.

These kinds of cases have occurred before and, in 2010, a Florida-based abortion practitioner lost his medical license. Matthew Kachinas was supposed to do an abortion on one of the twin babies who had Down syndrome but wound up killing the other baby in the failed abortion.

Kachinas injected a chemical to kill the baby in the abortion, but the injection ultimately killed the healthy unborn child.

The Florida Board of Medicine revoked Kachinas’ license for that and other cases that have come to its attention where Kachinas engaged in shoddy medicine. Immediately after the hearing, Kachinas said he would kill himself and was hospitalized at a local mental health facility out of concerns of his well-being, the newspaper reported.

Officials in Italy, in 2007, investigated a botched abortion done on twin brothers where the healthy brother became the victim of the abortion and the twin, who has Down syndrome, lived. The disabled brother was the target of the abortion procedure and the case is raising the ugly specter of abortions done to kill disabled people. The abortion was done on a 38-year-old woman in Milan.

Doctors at the San Paolo hospital told Italian media that the babies moved during the abortion procedure and changed position compared to their locations during a pre-abortion examination. After doctors realized their mistake, they notified the woman in question. She returned to the hospital to have the disabled baby aborted as well and then reported the doctors to the police.