California doctor allegedly implants wrong baby, then aborts to cover it up
TORRANCE, California, December 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – IVF technology opens up a veritable moral can of worms, as David and Melissa Pineda are now learning.
The Pinedas struggled to conceive a fourth child and ultimately decided to go to Torrance fertility doctor Rifaat Salem in December 2013. Dr. Salem implanted a set of conceived embryos in Melissa's womb in February 2014. He then ordered Melissa on bed rest.
Then something unusual happened. Only two days after the implantation procedure, Melissa got an after-hours Sunday call from Dr. Salem, telling her to come back to his office immediately.
Once in the doctor's office, a nurse told Melissa that all of her 14 original embryos were still in the Petri dish – after Melissa had been implanted with a set of embryos.
Dr. Salem came in and said he wanted to see how Melissa's implanted embryos were doing. According to Mrs. Pineda, he didn't explain why he felt the need to check on them, nor why it was an immediate, Sunday-after-hours urgent matter.
What then occurred was a very painful procedure, followed by heavy bleeding. Melissa believes that Dr. Salem committed a dilation and curettage (D&C) abortion on her babies.
Melissa was told to return the next day for an injection to stop her bleeding. But she says what she actually received was the abortion drug methotrexate.
Once the Pinedas put together what they think actually happened, they hired attorney Neil Howard and sued Salem for malpractice.
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"There's no question in my mind that this was a viable healthy pregnancy that he wanted to make sure did not continue," the Pinedas lawyer explained. "That's why he did two things: a chemical abortion and a surgical abortion. He wanted to be one billion per cent sure this baby did not go to full term."
David and Melissa are suing Dr. Salem for implanting a stranger's embryos and then committing an abortion without consent when he realized his mistake.
Human Life International's Stephen Phelan pointed out to LifeSiteNews that the common practice of in vitro fertilization results in the death of far more conceived babies than life.
"More than ninety-six out of every one hundred human beings created via in vitro fertilization will never be born," Phelan told LifeSiteNews.
Even when implanting a conceptus from a husband's and wife's sperm and egg, IVF is morally problematic. The foremost ethical issue is the practice of implanting many conceived, embryonic babies and then committing a selection abortion for the one determined the healthiest. Also of moral concern is the common routine of discarding or permanently freezing those tiny human beings conceived outside the mother's womb.
Phelan noted the Catholic teaching on the dignity of the human person: "All techniques of in-vitro fertilization proceed as if the human embryo were simply a mass of cells to be used, selected and discarded" (Dignitas Personae, no. 14).
The Pinedas say they would never have agreed to abort the babies – no matter whose they were, and no matter how many there were. "We went there to have a baby, not to kill a baby," Melissa told KTLA.
"We should have a little kid running around now," David told The Daily Mail. "That's the hard part and what will never be replaced – the moments and the happiness with this child that we wanted, and it's not there now."