Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Hospital to hand over abortion file

THE private medical file of a woman who had an abortion at 32 weeks' pregnancy will be released within days, after the Royal Women's Hospital decided not to appeal against a court order to hand the file to the Medical Practitioners Board. After losing its fight to protect the woman's privacy in three courts, the hospital has decided against pursuing the matter in the High Court. The board will now gain possession of the documents and investigate the conduct of five doctors who were involved in the abortion. Last month, three Court of Appeal judges unanimously dismissed the hospital's appeal against an earlier Supreme Court ruling to release the files to the Medical Practitioners Board. The case was originally heard in the Magistrates Court in October, 2004, and has dragged on, distressing the woman and her family.

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