By Kathleen Gilbert
BOSTON, September 13, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The trial into charges of involuntary manslaughter against a Massachusetts abortionist whose botched abortion killed Laura Hope Smith, 22, begins Monday, exactly three years after the young woman's death, according to an Associated Press report.
Prosecutors charged Dr. Rapin Osathanondh of Cape Cod with manslaughter in July 2008 in connection with the death of Smith, 22, whose heart stopped during an abortion. Osathanondh resigned his license in February 2008, the same day the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine issued charges against him over the incident.
The board said that Osathanondh "engaged in conduct that calls into question his competence to practice medicine," including failing to monitor Smith's heart or "adhere to basic cardiac life support protocol," and failing to call 911 immediately after her heart stopped. The abortionist, said the board, also neglected to keep oxygen or a functioning blood pressure monitor in the room, and later lied to cover up his negligence.
A Boston attorney specializing in medical malpractice cases told the AP that bringing criminal charges in such a case was extraordinary, implying an extreme level of negligence, as most such cases are handled in civil court.
"The more extreme the action, the more extraordinary the negligence, the more likely it is that it may cross over that line where it also becomes criminal," said attorney Andrew Meyer.
Osathanondh will face the charges in Barnstable Superior Court.