Monday, February 05, 2007

Safe and Legal: Carolina Gutierrez


The tragedy endured by Carolina Gutierrez and her family hung like a pall over Life Dynamics that holiday season of 1995-6. Her family had contacted an attorney while she was hospitalized, and that attorney sought advice from us. Thus we were kept informed, and prayed fervently, though this young mother's fight for her life. No doubt the events of that holiday season continue to hang over the hearts of those who knew and loved her.

Carolina, who had come to the United States as a refugee from Nicaragua at age 13, was 20 years old when she went to Maber Medical Center in Miami for an abortion on December 19, 1995.

Carolina's husband did not want her to have the abortion, so Carolina got a friend to drive her back and forth to the clinic.

The evening after her abortion, Carolina had pain in her chest and abdomen. She called the clinic for help, but whoever answered the phone hung up on her. Over the next two days, Carolina left messages on the clinic answering machine, but nobody returned her calls.

On December 21st, she could hardly breathe, so her family called 911. She arrived at the emergency room already in septic shock. Carolina underwent an emergency hysterectomy at the hospital to try to halt the spread of infection from her perforated uterus.

Carolina was put into the intensive care unit, where she battled for her life against the raging sepsis. She was on a respirator, with her fingers and feet going black with gangrene.

Relatives cared for her children, a five-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy, while Carolina's husband spent as much time as he could by her side. "I can't sleep. I try to take my mind off it, but it's impossible," he told the Miami Herald.


Carolina's 21st birthday came and went as she lay in the ICU. Doctors fought to help the young woman to gain enough strength to undergo amputation of her gangrenous limbs. But despite the hysterectomy, the amputations, and all their other efforts, Carolina died on February 5, 1996.



While investigating the clinic, officials noted that although Carolina could not read English, her only consent form was in English -- and the line for her signature was blank. She had paid $225 in cash for the abortion that took her legs and her life.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:



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8 comments:

Tlaloc said...

Okay so let's really break this down. When we remove all the fluff the part where you are saying the clinic is at fault is all in this paragraph:

"The evening after her abortion, Carolina had pain in her chest and abdomen. She called the clinic for help, but whoever answered the phone hung up on her. Over the next two days, Carolina left messages on the clinic answering machine, but nobody returned her calls."

That is that they had two faults
1) (implied) that some fault on their part lead to the infection.
2) that they were uncommunicative in the aftermath.

In the first case what was the eventual result of the civil case her family brought?

The second may be easily explained. In the first place since this was the week before christmas it is entirely possible the clinic itself was simply not open on the days she couldn't get a call back. The mere fact that she was getting an answering machine helps support that idea.

The article also specifically says that she didn't *read* english but never actually says whether she *spoke* it. Assuming she didn't then it might be easy to understand the clinic hanging up on the call.

Finally while the clinic may be to blame for a mistake in the operation they are not to blame for her not getting medical care for two days after it was clear there was a problem. She could have gone to any hospital in the country and she could *not* have been denied emergency care (a provision I tend to agree with). But she chose for whatever reason to sit by and do nothing despite serious complications after a surgery.

And it killed her.

That sucks. But to lay all this blame on the clinic or abortion in general is misguided. In fact, unless the jury in the civil case found that the clinic was guilty there appears to be NO blame here for the clinic. A person with an infection waited to get treatment and died because of it.

GrannyGrump said...

Tlaloc, the clinic was (allegedly, purportedly, supposedly) a medical facility, which meant that, holiday or not, they should have been fielding calls for patients with complications. "Gosh, it's the week before Christmas" is hardly justification for abandoning your patients. Unless, of course, you're an abortionist, in which case you could pull out a gun and shoot the patient dead after raping her and putting out cigarettes in her eyeballs and there'd be prochoicers coming out of the woodwork claiming that this was perfectly understandable and medically indicated.

Tlaloc said...

"Tlaloc, the clinic was (allegedly, purportedly, supposedly) a medical facility, which meant that, holiday or not, they should have been fielding calls for patients with complications."

Is there a law to that effect?



""Gosh, it's the week before Christmas" is hardly justification for abandoning your patients."

The abortionists portion of the event was DONE. If they needed further care it was going to be at a hospital. It's not like an abortion clinic is set up for long term care or emergency medicine. Their role is merely to conduct the abortion. Maybe they screwed up that portion of it, again I'd have to ask what was the result of the civil suit, but either way they were no longer a factor.

What is it you imagine happening? She called up the clinic and they say "well even though we are totally un-equipped to treat you for this I guess you better come down here." Of course not. They'd tell her to go to the HOSPITAL.

A clinic is not a hospital. I don't understand why the difference isn't clear here.


"Unless, of course, you're an abortionist, in which case you could pull out a gun and shoot the patient dead after raping her and putting out cigarettes in her eyeballs and there'd be prochoicers coming out of the woodwork claiming that this was perfectly understandable and medically indicated."

Exaggerate much? So here we have a case of you not being able to show (at least so far) that the clinic did a single thing wrong and you response is to claim pro-choicers will defend murdering rapists. Nice.

GrannyGrump said...

Tlaloc, how much am I "exaggerating"? You're saying that the fetus is sucked out, the clinic's responsibility for the patient is over and that they can abandon her to die and that's perfectly okay. Which should come as no surprise.

Tlaloc said...

"Tlaloc, how much am I "exaggerating"? You're saying that the fetus is sucked out, the clinic's responsibility for the patient is over and that they can abandon her to die and that's perfectly okay."

First of all I didn't say that. What I said was that, yes, their part of the process is over, and if the woman needs after care she needs to get it from a hospital because a clinic is simply not set up for emergency care or extended care. That doesn't mean that it is "okay" for her to bleed to death, it just means that the clinic is not capable of dealing with that problem. She needs to be in a *hospital.*

Second of all, even though that statement of yours was enough of a distortion of my position that isn;t even what i called an exaggeration. Here's what you said: "Unless, of course, you're an abortionist, in which case you could pull out a gun and shoot the patient dead after raping her and putting out cigarettes in her eyeballs and there'd be prochoicers coming out of the woodwork claiming that this was perfectly understandable and medically indicated."

If you can't see what a ridiculous exaggeration that is then you are being willfully blind. NO ONE has defended rape or murder. NO ONE. NO ONE has defended the deliberate infliction of harm (as putting out a cigarette on a person would clearly be). Again: NO ONE.

What I and many others have defended are medical professionals who do their job and are then persecuted by a group that wants to force their religious views on all. Furthermore I have asserted that claims of negligence are insufficient, there must be proof. Usually it turns out there is none. (I'm still waiting for some indication of how the civil suit turned out)

You choose to see this desire for proof as a defense. It is not. One must first establish that a thing has happened before one can choose to oppose or defend it. Usually you can't even do that. You rely on the most outlandish hearsay and reports from decades after the fact or witnesses who conveniently just happen to be pro-lifers as well.

In those cases where there is suitable proof of wrong doing (as determined by a review board or court) I'm fully in support of stripping licenses and seeing abortionists put in jail. But you need to leanr that wanting them to be guilty is not the same as them actually being guilty.

GrannyGrump said...

Tlaloc, I've gone beyond my frustration level with you. Done. Finis.

Tlaloc said...

That's because you know you are wrong here. No matter how many independent sources say Tiller is innocent you will choose to believe he is guilty.

Why is that?

Why is it you think you have so much more insight into this man than the review board and the juries? Those groups had direct access to the man and the ability to subpoena information. You have only third hand accounts.

But you are just sure you're right.

Why?

Why, Christina?

Answer that honestly and I think you'll have made a big step forward.

Rachael said...

Regardless,
This woman still died as the result of complications of a supposidly "safe and legal" abortion. And the injury, a perforated uterus, was a preventable injury, due probably to carelessness and rushing through the procedure. Still yet, this has left two children motherless.