Hospital aborted my baby without consent - mother

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 May, 2011, 12:00am
 

A woman is accusing a doctor at Princess Margaret Hospital of aborting her 13-week embryo without her consent.

Cheung Suet-ling, 36, who was expecting her fourth child, intends to take action in the courts and applied for legal aid yesterday.

She is also planning to file a complaint to the Medical Council.

She said: 'I want to get justice for my baby. It's a life. I had been carrying it for three months and suddenly it was gone. Did the doctor hurt my baby? Has she tried saving it? Don't I have the right to know how it happened, as a parent?'

On April 9 and 10 this year, she felt severe abdominal pain and had ultrasound scans at Princess Margaret Hospital's emergency ward.

She was diagnosed with urethritis on the first day, but scans on both days did not indicate any problems, she said. On April 10, she chose to stay in the hospital and was referred to an obstetrician that morning.

Cheung said: 'She asked questions about my background and then asked me to lie down. I felt her using a pair of forceps. At first she said she couldn't see the baby, then she found it and told me I'd had a miscarriage. The whole procedure only took a few minutes and she asked me to get up and get dressed. Then she told me she had already taken out the baby. I was so shocked and hurt, I cried.'

Private obstetrician Kun Ka-yan said in cases where the embryo could be aborted so easily, it was usually an 'inevitable abortion', meaning the embryo was already detached from the uterus. The doctor would usually take out the embryo immediately to reduce bleeding and to prevent the mother passing out.

Cheung said another doctor gave her a check-up afterwards but did not give any further explanation. On April 18, she complained to the hospital. Another obstetrician responded, saying procedures had been followed. The hospital told her they would send her a written report.

Though she had a miscarriage over 10 years ago, her three children - now aged 10, 12, and 14 - had natural deliveries on the mainland. She settled in Hong Kong with her husband and family six years ago.

A Princess Margaret Hospital spokeswoman said as fetal tissues were already sliding out of the cervix, the miscarriage was inevitable. She said medical staff had followed procedures and that the head of the obstetrics and gynecology department had explained what happened in detail to the patient.

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