Abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell was so inept as to the proper use of anesthesia during an abortion procedure that his shoddy clinic standards led to one woman dying from a legal abortion.
That’s the conclusion of a Pittsburgh anesthesiologist, who told a jury today during is trial for eight counts of murder that the amount of anesthesia given to one woman during her abortion was enough to kill her.
Gosnell has been charged with eight counts of murder and several of his staff at the abortion center, including his wife and sister-in-law, have been charged as well in the case with assisting in botched abortions, practicing medicine without a license or covering up the actions of those who did. The counts include grisly infanticidesthat involved Gosnell snipping the spines with scissors of babies who had purposefully been prematurely born so they could be killed moments later.
Gosnell has also been charged with third-degree murder in the death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar(right) and the national controversy that has erupted over Gosnell’s abortion business. The details are now coming up in court.
“The dose given to her exceeded the norm,” said Andrew Herlich, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy. “It would make her stop breathing.”
Herlich said that given Mongar’s size – 5-foot-1 and 110 pounds – the doses of a cocktail of Demerol, promethazine and diazepam would have put the petite woman “into a coma.”
In addition to Herlich’s opinion about Mongar’s death, Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron also questioned the anesthesiologist about Gosnell’s practice of having his staff – none of whom had any medical training – to administer anesthesia and perform other medical tasks.
Herlich said no doctor performing procedures on a patient who is sedated and anesthetized should do so without an anesthesiologist present monitoring the patient’s vital signs and prepared to begin lifesaving techniques in an emergency.
Examining Gosnell’s “crash kit,” the container of medications and equipment needed for emergency resuscitation, that was seized by authorities in 2010, Herlich noted that crucial medicines such as epinephrine had expired in 2007.
A political refugee from the country of Bhutan, Mongar went to Gosnell on Nov. 19, 2009 for the abortion and, prior to it, was given numerous doses of pain and sedation drugs by an individual who was not a licensed medical practitioner.
Massive amounts of drugs found in the victim’s system led authorities to suspect Gosnell was illegally prescribing pain-killers. He temporarily lost his medical license in both Pennsylvania and neighboring Delaware. Pennsylvania officials suspect Mongar died from the botched abortion in part because she had been treated by unlicensed personnel.
The State Board of Medicine says Gosnell had the unlicensed staff member give vaginal exams and administer the drugs Demerol, Promethazine and Diazepam. He was eventually fined $1,000 for the violations.
She experienced severe cramping and asked for additional pain medication. The unlicensed assistant contacted Gosnell, who instructed her to administer more doses. Near the end of the procedure, Mongar began losing color and had no pulse.
“We want justice, this doctor has to be out of that clinic or he should not be treating anybody,” Damber Ghalley told CNN Monday. “And the things that happen to my sister, I don’t want to happen to anybody in the future.”
He told CNN “the clinic was so dirty, filthy with blood stains and a dirty floor, everywhere dirty, I cannot describe how dirty it was.”
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“It’s unforgettable, my sister will never come back and it’s sad,” Ghalley said. “All the happiness is gone, they miss their mother every day and night,” Ghalley said, referring to Mongar’s four children.”
Karamaya’s daughter Yashoda Gurung is also speaking out and said the abortion turned bad when the overdose of anesthesia kicked in.
“We were waiting but it was a long time and my mom was not outside,” she told NBC Philadelphia, saying she began to panic when an ambulance pulled up to the abortion facility.
Gurung said an abortion center worked told her nothing was wrong: “She said, ‘your mom is good, don’t worry about that.’”
She said Gosnell’s staff moved the family to another room away from Mongar and would not give them updates on her condition. She finally saw her mother as emergency workers took her to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where, hours later, Mongar was pronounced dead.
“I want justice,” says Gurung.