Friday, November 16, 2012

Two Deaths Roughly 100 Years Apart

On November 16, 1905, 18-year-old Dorothy Spuhr died in County Hospital in Chicago from an abortion performed on November 13. A woman named Julia Gibson, aka Timmons, was arrested and held by the coroner's jury. She was indicted, and attempted suicide by shooting on April 6, 1906, in Michael Reese Hospital. Gibson's profession was given as "Abortion Provider", but not as midwife, nurse, or physician, so I'm guessing she was a professional lay abortionist. Dorothy's abortion was unusual for a pre-legalization abortion in that it was not performed by a physician.

Now let's jump ahead nearly 100 years and see how much better off legalization has made women who undergo abortions.

A woman identified as "Patient A" (I'll call her "Adelle"), was 26 years old when she went to "Landmark Women's Center", which looked like a clinic but was really just Dr. Mi Yong Kim's office. Kim (pictured) did not order proper lab studies, document an appropriate history, or perform a proper exam on Adelle before performing a safe and legal abortion on her on November 16, 2002. Kim administered 25 mg of Versed to Adelle, in response to her reports of pain, over a 10-minute period, without giving the medicine time to take effect.
At the end of the abortion, Kim noted that Adelle's pulse oximeter reading was only 70%, an alarming finding. Kim thought she found a pulse, did not assess whether or not Adelle was breathing, and simply ordered her staff to give Adelle oxygen by mask and call 911. Kim administered Romazicon to reverse the effects of the Versed, but did not notice that Adelle had gone into cardiac arrest. As such, Kim made no effort to resuscitate her -- not that she or her staff were trained or equipped to do so. The ambulance crew arrived and transported Adelle to the hospital, where she was declared dead. The medical board, while noting gross shortcomings, did not suspend or yank Kim's license, instead noting that she was making improvements in her quality of care. She was instead placed under stipulations regarding her use of anesthesia in her office and her record-keeping.

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