Friday, July 25, 2008

Former Mass. Doctor Pleads Not Guilty in Abortion Fatality Case

Boston Globe: Ex-doctor enters plea in abortion fatality:

Scales_of_justice BARNSTABLE - A former Cape Cod doctor indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter after a woman he performed an abortion on died has pleaded not guilty.


Rapin Osathanondh was arraigned yesterday in Barnstable Superior Court and released on personal recognizance after surrendering his passport.

Osathanondh, 65, was indicted last week in the death of Laura Hope Smith, 22, of Sandwich.

Prosecutors say Smith's heart stopped last September while she was under anesthesia at Osathanondh's Hyannis office. They allege willful, reckless conduct by the former doctor.

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Osathanondh was clearly playing Russian roulette with patient's lives. The medical board investigation into Laura's death found that he had nobody on staff trained to help with anesthesia; his only assistant was a member of his office staff. He had no monitoring or resuscitation equipment at the time of Laura's fatal abortion; he purchased such equipment after her death and tried to convince the medical board that he'd had it all along. And neither he nor anybody on his staff was certified in CPR; after Laura's death, he arranged CPR training and had it fraudulently back-dated.

This case is reminiscent of the deaths of Debra Gray, Suzanne Logan, Deanna Bell, Diane Watson, and Patricia King. What sets Laura's death apart is that a prosecutor isn't frightened off by the fact that the death was abortion-related.

Posted by: Christina | Jul 26, 2008 5:06:24 PM

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