21:38 GMT09 August 2020
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    Officials with South Korea’s Gangseo Police Station launched an investigation this week into a Seoul-based physician and a nurse after it was discovered that the pair conducted an abortion on the wrong patient after confusing her with another woman at the clinic.

    The Korea Times reported that the unidentified woman was a Vietnamese national who visited the clinic with her husband on August 7 for a pregnancy test. During that visit, the woman was initially told that she would need to be given a nutritional shot; however, while she awaited treatment, a nurse reportedly entered the room with the incorrect medical chart and proceeded to administer anesthesia instead. An abortion was carried out shortly after by the overseeing physician.

    The woman was six weeks pregnant at the time. 

    The Vietnamese woman was not aware that she’d undergone an abortion until the day after the procedure, when she returned to the clinic to see a doctor after having experienced some bleeding. The woman subsequently informed police about the matter.

    Gangseo officials confirmed to the Times on Monday that they had “booked” the two medical professionals on the suspicion of professional negligence resulting in injury. However, according to the New York Times, no arrests have been made.

    It’s presently unclear why neither the nurse nor the physician confirmed the identity of the patient prior to the procedure, as is customary. It’s also unknown whether or not the patient who needed the abortion after having miscarried ultimately underwent the procedure.

    The identities of all parties involved have not been revealed by law enforcement officials.

    Earlier this year, South Korea’s Constitutional Court overturned the country’s ban on abortions, ruling that the 1953 statute was unconstitutional and that it “limits women’s rights to pursue their own destinies.” The nine-member court ruled seven for and two against. 

    Prior to the landmark ruling, abortions were only permitted in cases of rape, incest or in the event that the mother’s life was at risk. Offenders faced up to two years in jail. By the high court’s ruling, South Korean lawmakers now have until the end of 2020 to revise the law.


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    Seoul, patient, nurse, Doctor, abortion, pregnancy, woman, South Korea
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