Doctors Fight to Save Aborted Baby Wrongly Misdiagnosed as Deformed in Prenatal Test

By Peter J. Smith

  FLORENCE, Italy, March 8, 2007 ( - Italian doctors are struggling to save the life of a baby whom they aborted after hospital pre-natal tests misdiagnosed him as deformed, a victim of the inaccuracies of pre-natal testing, which in many cases leads to abortion.

  According to The Australian, doctors from the Careggi teaching hospital in Florence told the baby’s mother that two ultrasound scans had yielded a high risk of a defective esophagus. After they had aborted the child, doctors discovered that not only was the baby’s heart still beating, but that he had been perfectly healthy before the abortion and so rushed to resuscitate him.

  However, the baby aborted 22 weeks into the pregnancy and weighing a half kilogram, suffers from a brain hemorrhage incurred during the abortion and doctors doubt that he will survive.

  The Italian journal La Repubblica reported that doctors at Careggi failed to detect the baby’s stomach with two ultrasound scans, and thus diagnosed him with a probable malformation of the esophagus. However, medical experts told the newspaper that the stomach cannot be seen in 1 percent of unborn babies, resulting in false positives for birth defects. Even so, doctors could have surgically corrected the disorder after birth with a mortality risk of 20 – 25 percent.
  The Careggi hospital, already under investigation for transplanting HIV infected organs into 3 patients last month, swiftly went into action to protect itself from liability. Yesterday, the hospital claimed its doctors did advise the mother to seek further pre-natal diagnostic tests, but that she chose an abortion after consulting a private clinic.

  While the Tuscan health board has launched an inquiry into the matter, the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano decried the scandal it described as life "thrown away in the horrible bureaucracy of a culture that rejects diversity and disability.” The paper condemned the doctor who had recommended an abortion as "not only morally but also ethically censurable.”

  While more parents are depending on technology to identify potential health problems in their unborn children, the technology poses significant inaccuracy rates for physical defects, which often leads to abortion. A recent Canadian study on genetics discovered more natural differences between the genetic code of individuals than researchers previously had thought existed, and suggested that prenatal screening may incorrectly diagnose these differences as "defects." (

  In the United Kingdom, a woman in early pregnancy had been told her baby had died according to the prenatal test, and the next day underwent a procedure to remove her child’s body from the womb. Miraculously, three weeks later, she discovered her baby was alive and healthy, untouched by the miscarriage procedure. (

  See related LifeSiteNews coverage:

  Prenatal Screening not so Accurate as Once Thought - "Normal" Children Killed as "Defective"?

  Healthy Baby Born After Prenatal Screening Falsely Showed he "Died"

  British Abortion Rate Skyrockets as Couples Eliminate "Defective" Children

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