By John Connolly
NEW YORK, March 12, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Senegalese immigrant is suing a hospital for aborting her unborn child after doctors in the hospital misdiagnosed her pregnancy as ectopic.
Mbayme Ndoye, 29, filed a lawsuit in the Bronx Supreme Court in January against St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, and chose to make the details of her mistreatment at the hospital public in an interview with The New York Post on March 11. Ndoye went to Roosevelt Hospital with stomach cramps on October 15, where medical staff told her and her common-law husband, Papa Tourre, that she had an ectopic pregnancy. In an ectopic pregnancy, the embryo implants in the fallopian tube, and not the uterus. It is impossible for the child to survive an ectopic pregnancy, and such pregnancies pose a significant health risk to the mother.
Based on the hospital’s diagnosis, Ndoye agreed to terminate her pregnancy, and was given a shot of methotrexate, a drug that would kill the embryo. When Ndoye returned later in the day for a follow-up shot, the doctors informed her that the first diagnosis had been a mistake, and that her pregnancy was, in fact, healthy.
“I didn’t know I was pregnant,” Ndoye told The Post. “I would expect things like that to happen in a Third World country, not here. I still don’t understand how this could happen.”
Ndoye claims that doctors exerted heavy pressure for her to abort the pregnancy before she was informed of the mistake. She said the sonogram technician “freaked out” after her examination, and called a doctor, who advised termination of the pregnancy.
“I thought my life was threatened,” said Ndoye.
It was only later that she learned the technician and doctor had incorrectly read her first sonogram. Ndoye tried to obtain treatment from a private physician to save her child, but the methotrexate had already done its work. Her unborn child’s heartbeat stopped on October 29, and it was surgically removed.
Ndoye is suing the hospital for unspecified damages. A spokeswoman for the hospital declined to comment, pending the litigation.
“It’s a pretty horrific experience,” Brian Brown, Ndoye’s lawyer. “There’s a sense of shame, that maybe she’s responsible.”
Brown said that since the incident, Ndoye has been receiving counseling.
“She aborted her own healthy child, which she would not have done,” he said. “This is a pretty traumatic experience. This is an expectant mother’s worst nightmare, and now this family is left with the painful task of trying to recover physically, mentally and emotionally from this tragedy.”
See Related LifeSiteNews Coverage:
Frozen Embryos Linked to Ectopic Pregnancy
‘I Would Have Had an Abortion’ – “Wrongful Life” Claim Rejected by South Carolina Court