Medical errors: A doctor in South Korea performs abortion on the wrong woman due to mix-up of medical charts

The Police have launched an investigation in South Korea, after a doctor performed an abortion by mistake.

Errors arose from mix-up of medical records

On August 7, a pregnant patient with a 6-week-old fetus had gone to a clinic in district of Gangseo, in the country’s capital Seoul, according to the Gangseo police. At the clinic, a mix-up in medical charts and failure to check her identity led to the mistaken abortion.
Findings of Police investigations
The doctor and nurse in charge are under investigation and the case will soon be sent to the prosecutor’s office, police told CNN.
“The doctor and nurse have acknowledged their fault,” a police official said.They are now being charged for negligence resulting in bodily harm.
How the mistake happened
According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, the patient was supposed to receive a nutritional shot at the clinic. The nurse had allegedly injected her with anesthesia without confirming her identity, and the doctor had performed the abortion without checking her identity either, Yonhap reported. The patient had been unaware of the procedure. The doctor carried out the abortion on the wrong woman, an error he could have avoided if he had cross-checked.
Abortion still illegal in South Korea
However, under existing laws, the practice remains illegal and is technically punishable by up to a year in prison. Exceptions are granted in cases where the parents have hereditary diseases, the pregnancy is due to rape or incest, or the fetus is threatening the life of the mother. Abortion laws in South korea is restrictive.
Court moves to liberalize abortion laws
South Korea moved to legalize abortion in April this year, with the country’s constitutional court ruling that lawmakers must revise existing laws by December 31, 2020.
More than 50, 000 women terminated their pregnacies last year
An estimated 50,000 abortions were carried out in South Korea last year, according to the country’s Health Ministry. Actual numbers may be much higher, since the criminalization of the practice distorted reporting of it.
Abortion on the wrong woman
Abortion: This image is for representation
Credit: Standard
Source: CNN


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