Friday, June 14, 2024

June 14, 1983: Death After Hospital Abortion in New York

A lawsuit filed by Eduardo Bermeo alleged that his wife, Ecuadoran-born Rosario Bermeo, age 30, died following abortion by Dr. Joseph B. Shapse at Prospect Hospital in New York June 14, 1983.

Shapse noted that no autopsy had been performed, so Eduardo could not prove that Rosario had die for any reason "beyond respiratory and cardiac arrest." He said that the abortion proceeded without incident, and that he had no responsibility for actions of the certified registered nurse anesthetist. 

The CRNA, Shapse noted, had been the one monitoring Rosario after the abortion, when her vital signs began to fail. Therefore, he said, he was not to blame for her death.

Eduardo's attorney countered with an affidavit by a physician that Shapse was indeed responsible for supervising the SRNA and that he had a duty to monitor and evaluate his patient's condition during and immediately after surgery.

Source: New York Appellate Court 162 A.D.2d 235

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