Mother pays to abort one unborn twin, thought to be Down syndrome, but Florida ob-gyn kills other twin; weeks later, mother aborts second twin as well
-- From "Sarasota doctor loses medical license for aborting wrong fetus" by Letitia Stein, St. Petersburg Times staff writer 4/12/10
After an exceedingly rare and shocking medical error, state officials have taken away the medical license of a Sarasota ob-gyn who aborted the wrong fetus in a woman carrying twins, mistaking a seemingly healthy girl for a boy with congenital defects.
Dr. Matthew J. Kachinas performed abortions but never before had attempted this procedure, known as selective termination, in which a chemical injection terminates one fetus in a multiple pregnancy.
But in January 2006, he agreed to treat a woman identified in state records as K.M. She was roughly 16 weeks' pregnant with twins conceived through in vitro fertilization, a procedure used to help couples who have difficulty reproducing.
Doctors had counseled her that selective termination was an option after learning the male fetus had multiple problems, including a possible heart defect and Down syndrome. The female twin appeared normal.
A week and a half later, K.M. returned to the doctors at Florida Perinatal Associates monitoring her high-risk pregnancy. An ultrasound revealed that the fetus still alive was the one with congenital issues and Down syndrome. She returned to Kachinas several days later to terminate the second twin.
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