Illinois hospital pressured woman to have abortion after medical error, lawsuit alleges

Mackenzie Bean - Print  | 

An Illinois woman filed a lawsuit against Peoria-based UnityPoint Health-Methodist April 11, alleging hospital employees pressured her to undergo an abortion after a medical error, reports the Peoria Journal Star.

Twenty-three-year-old Reneizha Morris was admitted to the hospital in November 2017 for a psychiatric evaluation and learned she was pregnant. She had a sonogram on Nov. 6, which revealed she was carrying a healthy 7-week-old baby, according to Heart of Illinois ABC.

The suit claims staff members mistakenly injected Ms. Morris with methotrexate, which can cause severe birth defects. Physicians met with her twice after the error occurred to inform her about pregnancy risks. Ms. Morris said she still wanted to have the baby despite her physicians' warnings.

UnityPoint Health-Methodist's risk manager allegedly called Ms. Morris' home several times and eventually gave her $2,000 to cover the cost of a consultation at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Chicago, the suit claims. Ms. Morris said she felt pressured to have an abortion and underwent the procedure Dec. 15, 2017. The risk manager's calls with Ms. Morris are not listed on her medical record.

"The hospital administration knew full well they would have been legally responsible for the considerable healthcare costs associated with the baby's birth injury," Ms. Morris' lawyer, Thomas R. Mulroy III, said in a statement cited by Heart of Illinois ABC. "The hospital purely had their own interests in mind and failed to take Reneizha's wishes into consideration."

The suit is seeking more than $50,000 in compensatory damages. A spokesperson for UnityPoint Health-Methodist shared the following statement with Becker's

"Patient privacy laws prevent us from discussing any individual's care," the spokesperson said. "At UnityPoint Health, we respect all patient rights in every aspect of the care we provide."

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