Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Illegal Work by Chicago Doctors and a Phony Clinic in Maryland

On February 3, 1912, 37-year-old homemaker Helen Imhoff died on the scene from blood poisoning caused by an abortion perpetrated by Dr. W. A. Beringer and midwife Margaret Meyer. They were indicted by a Grand Jury on March 1, but the case never went to trial. The involvement of a doctor and a midwife was typical for Chicago abortions of the time.

Another Chicago abortion death was at the hands of Dr. Joseph A. Harter.  When Mary Strugnall was just 15, 22-year-old Vernon Keyser, who worked at a machine shop near the Strugnall home, began paying attention to Mary, despite her family's disapproval and attempts to discourage the relationship. On January 29, Mary's parents went to the hospital to visit their 9-year-old son, who was being treated after being hit by a car. When they got home, Mary, who had since turned 16, was gone. Keyser admitted that he had taken her to Harter's home/practice for an abortion he had arranged for $150.  Keyser told police, "She was frightened ad began to struggle, but the doctor's brother [Irving Harter] and I held her on a table while the operation was performed. Five hours later I took her to the home of a Mrs. Irma McMullen, 7037 Clarmont avenue."

Mary's condition deteriorated, so to avert any suspicion Keyser continued to stop at the Strugnell home daily asking after Mary. On Friday, February 1, Harter told Keyser that he couldn't do anything more for Mary and suggested that he consult with Dr. J. A. Goodhart of South Kedqie Avenue. Goodhart immediately ordered that Mary be admitted to the county hospital. Per Harter's instructions as to "the simplest way out of it," Keyser persuaded Mary to lie and say that she had done the abortion herself. She died on February 3.

Dr. Harter was captured and tried for homicide, but acquitted for reasons I have been unable to determine. His brother Irving was charged as an accessory. Keyner was charged with rape and accessory to murder.

Now let us move ahead to she safe and legal daysLike many abortion "clinics", Dr. Romeo Ferrer's private practice, Gynecare Center, would look to the untrained eye like an outpatient clinic. Their website, in fact, described the facility as "a modern, clean clinic.

Denise Crowe was 21 years old, mother of a 3-year-old son, when she went to Gynecare in Severna Park, MD for an abortion on February 3, 2006. She was 16 weeks pregnant. She was accompanied to her appointment by a friend, who was helping to keep the abortion a secret from Denise's family. Ferrer started the abortion, a D&E abortion, at about 1:00 p.m. It took him 45 minutes to complete the abortion, and he kept administering more and more medication in quick doses to keep Denise sedated.

Snapshot from the chest up of a dark-haired middle-aged white man with eyeglasses, wearing a suit and tie, evidently turning to look at the camera as he walks past
Dr. Romeo Ferrer
Once Denise was removed to the recovery room, and assistant noticed that her fingernail beds were turning blue and she had no measurable pulse or blood pressure.  Ferrer gave a verbal order for 0.4 mg Narcan, a drug to counteract narcotics. It wasn't until three minutes until after Denise was found pulseless that Ferrer finally started CPR, using the chin-lift method taught to laypersons rather than using a device to keep her airway open, as a professional would be trained to do. Medics arrived to find Denise still unresponsive and without a pulse. They continued resuscitation attempts and turned Denise over to ER staff, but all of their attempts were in vain. She was pronounced dead at 2:57 p.m.

The autopsy found that Denise had been overdosed on Demerol during the abortion. The medical board suspended Ferrer's license because of the reckless way he doped up Denise, failed to monitor her properly both during the abortion and in recovery, and failed to provide adequate oxygen during CPR.

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