Practitioner Who Killed Woman in Botched Abortion Loses Medical License

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 10, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Practitioner Who Killed Woman in Botched Abortion Loses Medical License

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 10
, 2010

Annapolis, MD ( — A Maryland-based abortion practitioner who killed a woman in a failed abortion has had his medical license suspended. The Maryland Board of Physicians signed this week the suspension order for Romeo A. Ferrer, who may also face criminal charges in connection with the death.

The complaint against Ferrer revolves around a February 2006 abortion he did on a 21-year-old African-American woman, Denise Crowe, at Gynecare Center in Severna Park.

The woman sought a second trimester dilation and evacuation abortion procedure but it eventually claimed Crowe’s life and left her three-year-old son without a mother.

Ferrer is accused of failing to properly administer pain medications, failing to monitor the patient’s respiration and ventilation, and failing to employ standard methods of care to resuscitate the patient. He is accused of giving her a fatal overdose of meperidine, a narcotic also known as Demerol.

Shortly after the abortion, Ferrer’s staff were unable to detect Crowe’s vital signs and she was taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center, where doctors pronounced her dead.

Crowe’s estate filed a complaint in 2007 with the board accusing Ferrer of the various problems during the abortion. The Board of Physicians referred to a peer review organization to investigate, and it brought a complaint on April 7.

The case was stagnant for years until the Maryland Board of Physicians, in April, filed a petition against Ferrer for "failure to meet the standard of quality care" in his negligent treatment of Crowe that resulted in her death.

After the investigation, according to the Capital Gazette newspaper, Ferrer told the board that he does not administer general anesthesia at his abortion facility but "conscious sedation," which is sometimes called "twilight sleep."

On Wednesday, the board voted to suspend Ferrar’s medical license.

At a disciplinary hearing in June, the Maryland State Board of Physicians failed to act to suspend his license, but yesterday, the Board issued a suspension order that stated, "Based on the foregoing facts, the Board concludes that the public health, safety or welfare require emergency action in this case."

Calls the pro-life group Operation Rescue placed this week to Ferrer’s Severna Park, Maryland abortion center show it remains in operation and is currently taking appointments for abortions with another abortion practitioner doing them.

A state attorney for Anne Arundel County, Maryland has referred an abortion death case involving Romeo A. Ferrer to the local Police Homicide Unit for a possible criminal investigation.

The move comes after pro-life advocates held a press conference asking the Maryland Board of Physicians to take strong action against Ferrer.

Jack Ames, the director of the pro-life Maryland organization Defend Life, said at the time, “I don’t know how you tell the orphaned child of this woman that his mom died because the Governor, the House of Delegates, the State Senate, and the Maryland Board of Physicians failed to adequately regulate Romeo Ferrer and outpatient surgical facilities like his Gynemed facility in Severna Park."

“Since 1987, we have worked diligently to protect the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death. Our efforts have been continually rebuffed by certain elected and appointed officials who are in the back pocket of the NARAL and Planned Parenthood," he added.

“I hope one day these same officials have to look this innocent young man in the eye and explain how they decided that veterinary clinics deserved more oversight and regulation than the facility that killed his mother,” Ames said.

The coalition of Maryland leaders are also calling on the State’s Attorney for Anne Arundel County, Frank Weathersbee, to review Ferrer’s conduct and the tragic death of this innocent young woman to determine if the negligence in this case rises to the level of criminal negligence and merits prosecution.

Maryland attorney Matt Paavla told he wants Weathersbee to conduct a probe and highlighted Ferrer’s medical and potentially criminal negligence.

"As the complaint also states, even when Dr. Ferrer’s surgical assistant noticed that the patient’s fingernail beds were cyanotic, Dr. Ferrer ‘attempted to establish an airway, but failed to give [the patient] supplemental oxygen,’" he said. "As a result of the grossly negligent conduct of Dr. Ferrer, a 21 year-old woman is dead, and justice must be served."

House Minority Leader Tony O’Donnell of the Maryland House of Delegates, Bishop Harry Jackson of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, Kurt Linnemann of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, and Pam Palumbo of the Bowie Crofton – Severna Park Pregnancy Clinics also attended the press conference.


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