Monday, December 21, 2015

Two Criminal, Two Safe-and-Legal

On December 21, 1915, 34-year-old Mrs. Anna Hunt died at Chicago's Rhodes Avenue Hospital from complications of an abortion perpetrated that day by an unknown person.


On December 11, 1926, fifteen-year-old Emily Mueller underwent a criminal abortion somewhere in Chicago. She died on December 21. Midwife Magdelane Stegeman, maiden name Motzny, was booked on December 28. The coroner initially cleared Stegeman. She was nevertheless indicted for felony murder by the Grand Jury on February 15, 1927. Stegeman was later implicated in the 1941 abortion death of Rose Smith.


Denise Holmes, a 24-year-old Australian woman living in Texas, decided to undergo a safe and legal abortion at Avalon Hospital in Los Angeles, California, on her way home for Christmas of 1970. Denise checked into Avalon Hospital (an abortion facility owned by Edward Campbell Allred) on December 21. Denise suffered an amniotic fluid embolism that carried pieces of fetal bone marrow into her lungs. She was pronounced dead by Edward Allred at Avalon at 5pm. Denise is the first confirmed abortion death at an Allred facility, before the National Abortion Federation was founded, with Allred's Family Planning Associates Medical Group as a member. Other women known to have died after abortion at Allred's facilities include Patricia Chacon, Mary Pena, Josefina Garcia, Lanice Dorsey, Joyce Ortenzio, Tami Suematsu, Deanna Bell, Susan Levy, Christina Mora, Ta Tanisha Wesson, Nakia Jorden, Maria Leho, Kimberly Neil, Maria Rodriguez, and Chanelle Bryant.

Professional portrait of a middle-aged Black man
Earl McLeod
WAKE-UP has posted state medical board disciplinary documents against Dr. Earl McLeod (pictured),regarding the death of an abortion patient on December 21, 1997. WAKE-UP has identified her as 27-year-old Jennifer Halner. On December 20, 1997, she went to Potomac Family Planning for a safe, legal abortion. McLeod's anesthesiologist, identified only as Dr. K., started an IV, and Jennifer was hooked up to a cardiac monitor, blood pressure monitor, and pulse oximeter. Dr. K administered Versed (for sedation and memory impairment), Sublimaze (a short-acting narcotic used for short-duration pain control), Propofol (a sedative for anesthesia), with Lidocaine, a local anesthetic. Jennifer  was transferred to recovery at 10:10 a.m., still unconscious but breathing on her own. Her pulse was 103 (very rapid). A nurse identified only as Nurse W put an oxygen mask on her, but took off the cardiac monitor and pulse oximeter. Another nurse took off the blood pressure cuff to use on another patient. At around 10:20 a.m., Nurse W noticed that Jennifer was still unresponsive. She told a nursing assistant to get  Zofran, an antiemetic, from the anesthesiologist, who was in the second procedure room with McLeod. Dr. K gave the Zofran to Nurse W without evaluating the patient. Not surprisingly, this did nothing to revive Jennifer. Nurse W then asked Kr. K for Romazicon,  used to reverse the effects of anesthesia. Dr. K again provided the drug without examining the patient. Nurse H realized that couldn't find a pulse, and that Jennifer's pupils were dilated. She fetched Dr. K. He found Jennifer unresponsive, with a blood pressure an alarmingly low 60/40. He stared a second IV and began to perform CPR, using a pediatric-sized bag-valve mask. Meanwhile, McLeod performed two other procedures before finally entering the recovery room. He administered additional IV medications, and said that the patient was hooked up to an EKG monitor even though there was no documentation whatsoever of her cardiac rhythm. She was also not hooked up to a pulse oximeter that would tell the staff how much oxygen was in her blood. Dr. K told somebody to administer Epinephrine, Ephedrine, and Lidocaine -- all appropriate drugs. Finally, at around 10:42 a.m., McLeod told somebody to call 911. Paramedics arrived and found Jennifer in cardiac arrest. They noted that nobody had put a breathing tube into the patient to ensure that air was being pumped into her lungs and not her stomach. The medics immediately began appropriate resuscitation, intubating Jennifer, hooking her up to a cardiac monitor, defibrillating her, and administering appropriate drugs. The medics transported her to a to hospital, arriving at 11:09 a.m. The ER physician noted that Jennifer's pupils were fixed and dilated. After aggressive resuscitative efforts, her heart was restored to a stable rhythm, and she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. But despite their best efforts, she died at 4:15 a.m. on December 21. McLeod also ran the Hillcrest abortion mill in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where Kelly Morse had died in 1996 after being inadequately resuscitated. 
 

2 comments:

PLR said...

The complete lack of empathy displayed on this blog is not surprising, but it is disturbing.

Women die after being needlessly exposed to substandard medical care, and not only do their bereaved get an I-told-you-so, any actual improvement in medical care for unwillingly pregnant women is entirely off the table.

I find it hard to believe there are invisible deities who approve of these attitudes.

Christina Dunigan said...

I have not the pleasure of understanding you. I don't understand where you are seeing an "I told you so" attitude toward the women's families. I'm not clear on how exposing problems in abortion practice won't contribute to greater diligence on the part of organizations that refer women to abortion facilities. I don't understand your reference to invisible deities."