Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Lingering Death: Suzanne Logan

On December 1, 1992, 35-year-old Suzanne Logan died in a Maryland nursing home. She had been there for three years, mute and paralyzed. Her only memory of how she got there was of going to Hillview abortion clinic in Maryland on September 9, 1989, for a safe, legal abortion. She had been 13 weeks into her pregnancy.

Her abortion was performed by Gideon Kioko.

There was no record of how much intravenous Brevital was administered to Suzanne, or who administered the drug. There was also no record of any examination to determine of this drug was appropriate for Suzanne.

Suzanne was already unconscious on the table when Kioko and his nurse entered the procedure room. Kioko was being assisted by an unlicensed nurse, who noted that Suzanne's lips were turning blue. She told Kioko, who continued with the abortion procedure. There is no record that anybody monitored her vital signs or administered oxygen during the procedure.

The nurse summoned Barbara Lofton, who came into the room with Dr. Raymond Taylor, a doctor Hillview used to provide aftercare. Taylor began to attend to Suzanne. Kioko's only contribution to the efforts to revive his patient was to attach an EKG line to one of her arms.

Eventually somebody summoned emergency medical services (EMS). The EMS personnel reported that the Hillview employees seemed "very confused and did not seem to know what they were doing." EMS staff also noted that Hillview staff had put an oxygen mask on Suzanne upside-down, so that she wasn't getting any oxygen.

Suzanne was cyanotic (she had turned blue from lack of oxygen), her pupils were dilated. She was limp, and had no pulse and was not breathing. EMS workers managed to perform CPR and get Suzanne's heart and lungs working again, and transported her to a hospital.

Suzanne remained comatose and was transferred to a nursing home. Four months after the abortion, she regained consciousness, but was paralyzed and unable to speak. She had no memory of the abortion, but was able to eventually recall having gone to the clinic.

Local prolifers visited Suzanne, and bought her a device that allowed her to communicate. She was interviewed by 60 Minutes, and asked what she wanted. She replied, "To go home."

Suzanne filed suit against Kioko and the clinic. In November of 1992, she finally won her suit, and was awarded $2.6 million and $10,000 a month for life, to cover her expenses. Sadly, Suzanne died on December 1, before she had a chance to fulfill her wish of seeing her father again.

Debra Gray also died after an abortion at Hillview. Hillview's owner, Barbara Lofton, had opened an abortion clinic in the District of Columbia, but had been closed down for operating without a license. So she'd moved two miles over the border into Maryland, where there were no impeding regulations keeping her from running the facility. A former employee interviewed by 60 Minutes thought that Lofton was a doctor because she dressed like a doctor, answered the phone "Dr. Lofton," and performed medical tasks.

Kioko made the following excuses to the medical board regarding the fatal abortions:

In the first two cases where Brevital was given, I did not give it, nor did I consent to it. I was not consulted or asked about it. I did not even start intravenous fluids. The decision to administer Brevital was made by the patient and the clinic, and during those [sic] time, I would be called in. I would be notified that "the patient is now asleep, Doctor. You may start the procedure." ....

I, therefore, had nothing to do with the Brevital administered to these two patients. Other contract physicians were also working under similar terms, and, like me, they had nothing to do with the administration of Brevital. I suppose that I was just unlucky at that time and happened to be there when this incident happened.


[Regarding Debra Gray]. I understand that [the Brevital] was given by Dr. Barbara Lofton-Clinical Practitioner. My initial contact with the patient was the initial sizing evaulation and to determine the gestational age of the pregnancy. The next contact by me was when the patient was already asleep. As I was finishing the procedure, I called the attention to the administers [sic] of the anesthetic, that the patient's blood was getting unusually dark. At that time, in my view, adequate resuscitation efforts was [sic] immediately instituted with airway established and 911 was called. EKG and oxygen were available and were used. Dr. Taylor, a Cardiology fellow headed the resuscitation effort. It is just not true that adequate resuscitation was not done and that the equipment was not available. Indicenttally, this patient had recently used Opium [sic], though the patient had denied this in her medical history.

The case of [Suzanne Logan] is similar. The patient was put to sleep, with Brevital. I was not in the Operating Room at the time. Once again I was called in to do the procedure once the patient was deemed asleep. I was not consulted, nor did I participate in the decision to give the agent, but once again, I know there was immediate and adequate resuscitation effort. (Please refer to the letter from Dr. [sic] Barbara Lofton). The only case I directly had complete responsibility for is that of ... [Patient C].

The medical board noted that Kioko, as the physician performing the procedure, was still responsible for ensuring that the patient was being provided with appropriate care, regardless of how the clinic chose to assign tasks. The board also noted that nobody was monitoring either woman's vital signs while Kioko was operating on them.

The board noted that "In the above cases, [Kioko] performed surgical procedures under conditions that failed to meet appropriate standards for the delivery of quality medical and surgical care. .... In the event that [Kioko] was unable to correct these conditions, the appropriate standard of care required that [he] not perform these procedures at this facility until these conditions were so corrected."

The board also noted that "Kioko demonstrated a serious lack of judgment.... Kioko assumed that his role was limited to performing technical procedures upon anesthetized patients, leaving overall management of the patients to others. Dr. Kioko's gullibility in this regard proved fatal."

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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1 comment:

KC said...

OMG And she is still "practicing"?