Hypocritical Oath: Dr. Gosnell’s Maiming and Killing of Patients
It is horrific enough, as we saw last week (to start at the beginning click here) to hear how Dr. Glosnell murdered countless babies in cold blood. But even his patients, the women who he was supposedly trying to help, were not safe from his criminal negligence and malpractice. This next section of the Grand Jury’s Report overviews this aspect of his crimes, and how he killed one of at least two women who died because of his “care.” If you’d like to read the entire report you can find it here.
“Butcher of women
Dr. Gosnell didn’t just kill babies. He was also a deadly threat to mothers. Not every abortion could be completed by inducing labor and delivery. On these occasions, Gosnell would attempt to remove the fetus himself. The consequences were often calamitous – though that didn’t stop the doctor from trying to cover them up.
One woman, for example, was left lying in place for hours after Gosnell tore her cervix and colon while trying, unsuccessfully, to extract the fetus. Relatives who came to pick her up were refused entry into the building; they had to threaten to call the police. They eventually found her inside, bleeding and incoherent, and transported her to the hospital, where doctors had to remove almost half a foot of her intestines.
On another occasion, Gosnell simply sent a patient home, after keeping her mother waiting for hours, without telling either of them that she still had fetal parts inside her. Gosnell insisted she was fine, even after signs of serious infection set in over the next several days. By the time her mother got her to the emergency room, she was unconscious and near death.
A nineteen-year-old girl was held for several hours after Gosnell punctured her uterus. As a result of the delay, she fell into shock from blood loss, and had to undergo a hysterectomy.
One patient went into convulsions during an abortion, fell off the procedure table, and hit her head on the floor. Gosnell wouldn’t call an ambulance, and wouldn’t let the woman’s companion leave the building so that he could call an ambulance.
Undoubtedly there were many similar incidents, but even they do not demonstrate Gosnell at his most dangerous. Day in and day out, the greatest risks came when the doctor wasn’t even there. Gosnell set up his practice to rely entirely on the untrained actions of his unqualified employees. They administered drugs to induce labor, often causing rapid and painful dilation and contractions. But Gosnell did not like it when women screamed or moaned in his clinic, so the staff was under instruction to sedate them into stupor. Of course his assistants had no idea how to manage the powerful narcotics they were using. Gosnell prepared a list of preset dosage levels to be administered in his absence. But no allowances were made for individual patient variations, or for any monitoring of vital signs. All that mattered was the money. The more you paid, the more pain relief you received. It was all completely illegal, and completely unsafe.
Only in one class of cases did Gosnell exercise any real care with these dangerous sedatives. On those rare occasions when the patient was a white woman from the suburbs, Gosnell insisted that he be consulted at every step. When an employee asked him why, he said it was “the way of the world.” Karnamaya Mongar was not one of the privileged patients. She was a 41-yearold, refugee who had recently come to the United States from a resettlement camp in Nepal. When she arrived at the clinic, Gosnell, as usual, was not there. Office workers had her sign various forms that she could not read, and then began doping her up. She received repeated unmonitored, unrecorded intravenous injections of Demerol, a sedative seldom used in recent years because of its dangers. Gosnell liked it because it was cheap.
After several hours, Mrs. Mongar simply stopped breathing. When employees finally noticed, Gosnell was called in and briefly attempted to give CPR. He couldn’t use the defibrillator (it was broken); nor did he administer emergency medications that might have restarted her heart. After further crucial delay, paramedics finally arrived, but Mrs. Mongar was probably brain dead before they were even called. In the meantime, the clinic staff hooked up machinery and rearranged her body to make it look like they had been in the midst of a routine, safe abortion procedure.
Even then, there might have been some slim hope of reviving Mrs. Mongar. The paramedics were able to generate a weak pulse. But, because of the cluttered hallways and the padlocked emergency door, it took them over twenty minutes just to find a way to get her out of the building. Doctors at the hospital managed to keep her heart beating, but they never knew what they were trying to treat, because Gosnell and his staff lied about how much anesthesia they had given, and who had given it. By that point, there was no way to restore any neurological activity. Life support was removed the next day.
Karnamaya Mongar was pronounced dead.”
Even if media outlets fear that abortion connection might make this story to politically risky, you’d at least think they would be all over the death of a refugee due to criminal malpractice. Yet the media, other than a few editorials in various opinion sections (and kudos to those columnists for speaking up), is burying the story. This should have been first page news and it’s being shoved under the rug. Their cowardice could result in this kind of horrific situation happening again. Because rest assured: Dr. Gosnell should have been stopped long before Karnamaya Mongar died in that emergency room. You’d think that her death would have been all the waning the authorities needed that something was wrong: unfortunately, you’d be wrong. Tomorrow I’ll post the next section of the report, which details the inexcusable negligence of those whose job it is to prevent atrocities like these. If you can’t wait until tomorrow you can find the whole story right here, straight from the Grand Jury of the 1st Judicial District of Pennsylvania.
Posted on April 13, 2013, in Gross Injustice and tagged Dr. Gosnell, malpractice, Women's Medical Society. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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