A doctor in South Korea is being investigated after allegedly performing an abortion on the wrong woman.
The incident happened at a clinic in Gangseo District, Seoul, where a pregnant patient had visited to receive a nutritional shot on August 7. At the time, the woman was carrying a 6-week-old fetus, CNN reports.
According to the Gangseo police, the doctor and nurse in charge at the clinic claimed to have mixed up medical charts after failing to check her identity. The error eventually led to the woman’s infant getting aborted by mistake.
“The doctor and nurse have acknowledged their fault,” a police official was quoted as saying. The pair are now under investigation for negligence resulting in bodily harm. Local authorities announced the investigation on Monday.
Yonhap reports that instead of the nutritional shot, the woman was injected with anesthesia. Without confirming his patient’s identity, the doctor proceeded to perform the abortion. The patient had been unaware of the procedure.
South Korea had just recently moved to legalize abortion earlier this year, with the constitutional court ruling that lawmakers must revise existing laws by December 31, 2020.
Existing laws, however, prohibit the practice and is technically still illegal with a punishment of up to a year in prison.
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, the courts can grant exceptions.