Wrongful death lawsuit targets Albuquerque abortion clinic | KOB 4
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Wrongful death lawsuit targets Albuquerque abortion clinic

Wrongful death lawsuit targets Albuquerque abortion clinic

Marian Camacho
September 12, 2018 11:21 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the University of New Mexico and Southwestern Women's Options after the death of a 23-year-old woman following an abortion.

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According to the lawsuit, Keisha Atkins went to UNM Hospital on January 23, 2017, to seek help for an "elective 24-week abortion." The suit states that doctors at UNM Hospital denied her request and referred her to Southwestern Women's Options.

On its website, SWO lists abortions through 32 weeks on its list of services as well as abortions after 32 weeks on a "case by case" basis.

The lawsuit states that Atkins went to SWO on February 1, 2017, for the abortion and claims SWO violated the New Mexico Unfair Trade Practices Act in its discharge orders that "instructed Keisha Atkins not to contact or consult any medical facility, hospital, doctor, emergency room or nurse outside of employees, agents and/or staff of the SWO clinic."

According to the lawsuit, Atkins returned to SWO on February 3, 2017 with a high fever and troubled breathing. Ten hours later, the suit claims doctors at SWO called for an ambulance to take Atkins to UNM Hospital where she later died. 

Also named in the lawsuit is Pathologist Dr. Lauren Dvorscak of the UNM Office of the Medical Investigator. The suit claims that Dvorscak conspired in a cover-up of Atkins' cause of death.

The suit says "Dr. Dvorscak wrote a report listing the cause of death as 'natural' due to pregnancy."

"Keisha Atkins' medical treatment was a series of negligence and malpractice which ultimately led to her untimely death-these actions were compounded by the fact that she was instructed to not seek emergency room care by Southwestern doctors," said Atkins' attorney Michael Seibel.  "We also have reason to believe that these parties conspired with UNM's Medical Investigator to conceal the cause of death from the abortion in order to protect each other's interests and long-standing relationships."

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Atkins' mother and sister.

Credits

Marian Camacho

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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