Published On: Sun, Nov 27th, 2011

Australia: Hospital botches abortion, kills ‘wrong’ twin, both babies die

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 News comes via the HERALD SUN that the healthy 32-week-old fetus was accidentally terminated during the procedure at the Royal Women’s Hospital. A doctor advised the couple to abort one of the babies, who presumably had a congenital heart defect that would require years of operations, if he survived at all.

The hospital spokeswoman confirmed during her “apology” that the wrong twin was injected and stated that the hospital was launching a full investigation into the  “distressing clinical accident.”


photo Alyson Jones

photo Alyson Jones

A friend of the woman said the family was struggling to cope with the fatal mistake, noting that both babies were already named.

“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 to the Herald. “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 Herald Sun believes the family are considering legal action.

Health Services Commissioner Beth Wilson, who resolves complaints against Victoria’s hospitals, said she was shocked.

“I have never dealt with a case like this before,” she said.

Health Minister David Davis said: “This is an absolute tragedy for all concerned and my sympathies are with the family.”

“I have been assured by the chief executive officer of The Royal Women’s Hospital that a thorough investigation is underway and support is being provided to the parents, extended family and staff directly involved.

“Preventing serious clinical incidents in hospitals is important to the Victorian Government.

“In Victoria there is a statewide approach to clinical quality and safety through the Victorian Health Incident Management System (VHIMS).”


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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco


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