Botched abortion case doctor being investigated on different matter

The doctor implicated in the case of an 18-year-old mother of two, who died last December as a result of injuries she sustained during a botched abortion, is still being investigated by the disciplinary committee of the Medical Council of Guyana, according to its new President Dr Vivienne Mitchell-Amata.

Dr Mitchell-Amata told the Sunday Stabroek that even though the doctor had denied all involvement in treating the mother, “something different is being investigated” but she would not reveal what this was although it has nothing to do with the woman’s death. As this aspect of the investigation proceeds the doctor continues to practise.

Karen Badal of Lot 2 North Vigilance, East Coast Demerara, was four months pregnant when she died at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) as a result of a perforated uterus and acute peritonitis on December 30, 2011.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Shamdeo Persaud had told this newspaper earlier this year that the doctor had denied all involvement in the matter and had explained that the case would have to be taken before the court, and the judge, after investigations with the committee, would make a decision.

Karen Badal

According to Dr Mitchell-Amata the doctor had appeared before the committee with his attorney who had argued that Badal spent a couple of days in the GPHC before she died and they had a couple of hours to save her.

But in the end he submitted that he was not involved in the woman’s case.
“That put a big monkey wrench in the whole thing; there were no witnesses and that made us sit back and think, what does that mean? When you go to a doctor does it not mean you must ensure you get a receipt?”

She said Badal was a patient of hers but by the time she arrived in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of GPH she was unconscious and on life support.
Around that same time Dr Mitchell-Amata said there were two other women with the same complaint and she said too many doctors are using an abortion technique that is dangerous.

“The abortion technique is a dangerous one – that clean out or scrape out technique,” she said, adding that was one of the reasons years ago a team had come from abroad and showed doctors how to do “suction abortion instead of scraping out.”

She said that the council’s website has published the names of doctors who are certified to do the suction technique.

Relatives of Badal had previously expressed great hope that the doctor responsible for the death of the young mother would pay his dues under the legal system of Guyana, but had expressed the view that they are not confident justice will prevail because of the slow progress in the matter.

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