A medical examiner testified in the Kermit Gosnell murder trial Tuesday and testified that an autopsy confirmed that abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell killed a woman in a failed abortion.
Assistant Medical Examiner Gary Collins confirmed that the woman, 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar (below right), died from the abortion due to Gosnell and his staff’s medical incompetence in terms of administering a proper amount of anesthesia rather than her dying of some other cause.
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 infanticide sthat involved Gosnell snipping the spines with scissors of babies who had purposefully been prematurely born so they could be killed moments later.
From the Philadelphia newspaper:
Gosnell, 72, is charged with third-degree murder in Mongar’s death, which prosecutors say was caused when Gosnell’s untrained workers gave the diminutive woman multiple doses of Demerol and other drugs to anesthetize her.
Defense attorney Jack McMahon, however, has argued that Mongar hid respiratory problems that made her more vulnerable to Demerol.
Mongar, a native of the Asian nation of Bhutan, lived for 20 years in a refugee settlement camp in Nepal before emigrating with her family to the United States four months before she died.
Collins conceded that Mongar’s lungs showed carbon particles but said it was the normal soot inhaled by any person, not sign of a disease such “Black lung” that afflicts coal miners.
Collins told the Common Pleas Court jury hearing Gosnell’s murder trial that Mongar died when her heart stopped and her brain died because of a lack of oxygen. Collins said the most likely cause was an excessive amount of Demerol found in blood drawn during her autopsy.
Collins is expected to spend the entire day on the witness stand as the prosecution’s case goes through it seventh day of testimony.
On Tuesday, a toxicologist testified that Mongar was given far more of a powerful sedative than her patient records showed.
Timothy Rohrig, a forensic toxicologist and director of the Sedgwick County, Kan. Regional Forensic Science Center, testified that records from Gosnell’s clinic showed Mongar had been administered a total of 150 milligrams of Demerol in the 24 hours before the abortion.
Rohrig said that clinic records were inconsistent with the 710 micrograms of Demerol found in a blood sample taken during Mongar’s autopsy.
Rohrig testified that there was no way 710 micrograms could remain in her blood shortly after death if she had only been given 150 milligrams.
“It was more than 150 and probably a lot more than 150,” Rohrig testified.
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 was the conclusion of a Pittsburgh anesthesiologist, who told a jury during previously that the amount of anesthesia given to one woman during her abortion was enough to kill her.
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.