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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Iowa Woman Settles Case Against Hospital Over Medical Mistake Forcing Abortion

Des Moines, IA (LifeNews.com)—An Iowa nurse has settled a lawsuit she filed against the hospital she works at because, as a patient there, officials apparently made a mistake by not telling her she was pregnant before undergoing a medical procedure. The procedure likely caused damage to her unborn child and she felt compelled to have an abortion against her wishes.

Kristy Oswald is a Catholic who opposes abortion but she felt obligated to have one after the incident at Iowa Methodist Medical Center.Oswald says officials at the medical center failed to inform her of a positive pregnancy test prior to a heart procedure in 2006.

According to the lawsuit she filed, Oswald had a pregnancy test performed prior to the cardiac ablation—which involves wires inserted through blood vessels into the heart to treat abnormal rhythms.Oswald’s attorney Guy Cook filed the suit in Polk County District Court and said she was forced to have an abortion after learning the procedure likely hurt her baby. The suit indicated Oswald’s cardiologist was also not informed of the pregnancy test results beforehand.

On Monday, Cook indicated the case had been settled out of court for an undisclosed sum of money. The case had been scheduled to go to trial later this month when both sides agreed to conclude the case out of court.

“The settlement brings closure to the family,” Cook told the Des Moines Register. “The amount is confidential, but the Oswalds ... appreciate the hospital’s acknowledgment of regret for the situation.”

Corey Morrison, a hospital spokeswoman, sent the newspaper a written statement on Monday responding to the settlement news.

“Protecting and improving the well-being of our patients is our single goal, and even the suggestion that somewhere, somehow a single safeguard may have failed is unacceptable to us,” the statement said. “We sincerely regret this situation and extend our profound sympathies to the patient and her family.”

Morrison indicated the state hospital made overtures in the case starting last year to get it settled out of court.

Iowa Methodist Medical Center released a statement apologizing for the incident shortly after the lawsuit was filed and indicated at that time it was considering a move to settle the case out of court.

Posted by Jake Dagel on 04/15 at 03:19 PM
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