Relatives of botched abortion victim will pursue justice ‘no matter what’

Relatives of an 18-year-old mother of two, who died almost three months ago as a result of injuries she sustained during a botched abortion, declared that they will pursue the matter until justice is served despite slow progress by the Medical Council of Guyana and the police.

Karen Badal of Lot 2 North Vigilance, East Coast Demerara, was four months pregnant when she died as a result of a perforated uterus and acute peritonitis on December 30, 2011.

“If one year, two year, three year, no matter what, I will still be taking the matter seriously. If I have to write to the president, I will do that but right now we are doing what is supposed to be done and that is having the council and the police investigate the matter. It is going slowly but we hoping for the best so that we can move forward,” a relative told Stabroek News.

Currently, the man said, they are being pushed back and forth between the police and the medical council both of which are saying that the other is supposed to handle the matter.

He said they met officials of the council a few days ago and were told that pending the results of police investigation; the council can only revoke the implicated doctor’s medical licence. The next move has not been related to the family.

Karen Badal

“They promise to get back to us soon but they tell us to go back to the police because they have to play their part too and they are not doing that… Whenever you done it was a murder and the police have to do something,” the man said.

According to the man, there is enough evidence to apprehend the man with further investigation to be done involving former patients of the doctor who experienced similar symptoms, one of whom died also.

“The evidence is right there. As soon as the matter pop up, he close down his business at Mon Repos here and pull down his sign. The evidence is there but everyone turning a blind eye,” the frustrated relative said.

He further stated that they are hoping that the former patients would testify about their personal experiences if the matter goes to court, noting that this would assist in preventing another woman from suffering.

The family had written a letter to A Partnership for National Unity and received a response which said that discussions would be held on the matter. The man said they will be visiting the Beterverwagting Police Station for an update and hopefully to encourage them to follow the matter more keenly.
Also, the family is considering seeking further help from the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security for a speedy investigation.

The relative had previously told this newspaper that there had been reports that the doctor was not certified to conduct termination of pregnancies, though he may be in other fields. “Everyone know, Medical Council, the Georgetown Hospital, everyone said this, all the doctors at the hospital… This is not the first time someone went to him and end up at the hospital,” the relative had stated.

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