Sunday, December 21, 2014

From 1915 to 1997, Dead is Still Dead

There are four women from the Cemetery of Choice whose abortions ended their lives on this date. I have very little information on the two criminal abortion deaths:

On December 21, 1915, 34-year-old 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 was indicted for felony murder by the Grand Jury on February 15, 1927. Shewas later implicated in the 1941 abortion death of Rose Smith

I know slightly more about the first of the two safe and legal abortion deaths.

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. She checked into Avalon Hospital (an abortion facility owned by Edward Campbell Allred) on December 21. During the abortion, Denise suffered an amniotic fluid embolism that carried pieces of fetal bone marrow into her lungs. She was pronounced dead by Allred at Avalon at 5pm. Denise is the first confirmed abortion death at an Allred facility. Other women known to have died after abortions at Allred's Family Planning Associates Medical Group chain of 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.

I have the most information about the most recent death.

Dr. Earl McLeod
On December 20, 1997, 27-year-old Jennifer Halner went to Potomac Family Planning for a safe, legal abortion, to be performed by D&C. She was 6 weeks pregnant. Dr. Earl McLeod's anesthesiologist, identified in records only as Dr. K., started an IV, and Jennifer was hooked up to monitors. Jennifer  was transferred to recovery at 10:10 a.m. She was put on an oxygen mask but taken off the monitors. Ten minutes later a nurse noticed that Jennifer was still unresponsive. Neither McLeod nor the anesthesiologist assessed Jennifer, but instead verbally approved an odd request that a nurse had made for an anti-nausea drug which, of course, did nothing to help Jennifer. The nurse then requested a drug that would actually reverse the effects of anesthetics, and again, without assessing the patient, Dr. K gave his okay. It was then, more than fifteen minutes after the abortion, that a nurse noticed that Jennifer had no pulse and her pupils were dilated. She fetched Dr. K. He stared a second IV and began to perform CPR, using a pediatric-sized bag-valve mask totally inadequate for an adult patient. Meanwhile, McLeod performed two other procedures before entering the recovery room and finding his staff performing inadequate CPR on his patient.

It wasn't until around 10:42 a.m. that McLeod told somebody to call 911. Paramedics arrived and  immediately began appropriate resuscitation. They transported Jennifer to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. After aggressive resuscitation efforts by ER staff, Jennifer's heart was restored to a stable rhythm, and she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, where she died at 4:15 a.m. on December 21.
The appalled paramedics reported McLeod to the medical board, which faulted him with failure to provide adequate and readily-available post-operative monitoring equipment, and failure to provide adequate emergency supplies. The board also required him to get his staff properly certified in CPR. McLeod also ran the Hillcrest abortion mill in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where Kelly Morse had died in 1996 after being inadequately resuscitated.

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