Monday, August 27, 2007

Aborting the "wrong" twin

In Italy:
The San Paolo hospital in Milan yesterday confirmed a report of the blunder in the daily Corriere della Sera. A statement from the hospital said the twins had changed places inside the womb between the first ultrasound scan and a second one carried out shortly before the operation, which took place in the 18th week of the pregnancy. It said it had handed the case notes to the "competent authorities"....

Italian news agencies said the woman subsequently returned to hospital to have the remaining, deformed foetus aborted. She then reported the doctors to police.
According to a South African newspaper, the condition in question was Down Syndrome.

I wonder how authorities will proceed on this case. What could the doctors who accidentally killed one fetus when they were attempting to kill another be charged with? Mistaken identity homicide? Is it really their fault unborn twins can shift positions in the womb? It seems we've reached a place in some societies where intentionally killing innocent human beings isn't wrong in and of itself, but it is wrong when you accidentally kill the wrong innocent human being.

I'm not horrified that the "wrong" twin was accidentally aborted. I'm horrified that a mother would intentionally try to have one of her twins killed because the child was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and that someone with a medical degree would agree to do it.

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