A West Philadelphia abortion clinic was closed after investigators accused Dr. Kermit B. Gosnell of killing babies born alive during late-term abortions and allowing untrained non-medical staff to medicate a patient who died after the procedure. The 69 year old doctor also worked for some years at a Delaware clinic and is alleged to have told women at that clinic who were too far along in their pregnancies to obtain an abortion under Delaware law (which has a 20 week or 5 month cut-off) to come to his Philadelphia office where he would charge them more money, but where abortions are legal up to 24 weeks (6 months) of pregnancy. Gosnell has been charged along with with 2 staff people of the Philadelphia clinic and all are currently incarcerated pending further criminal proceedings, which could include the risk of death penalty for Gosnell.
The charges include allegations that babies who Gosnell aborted lived for up to 20 minutes after the procedure, at which time Gosnell or a staff member would murder the babies. Further, it is alleged that Gosnell allowed the two charged staff members, who were not medically trained, to adminster anesthesthia and perform ultrasoundes. One staff person is reported to have created her own drug “cocktails” for patients and, in the case of the patient who died, altered medical records so that later treating physicians would not know how much of what drug she had been given. Finally, it is alled that one staff member who routinely treated patients had hepatitis, but did not take precautions, including wearing gloves, to protect patients from contracting the disease.
While Dr. Gosnell’s criminal charges are certainly a huge problem for him, it is likely that civil medical malpractice lawsuits will soon be filed by patients who treated at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society clinic in West Philadelpia. As a licensed pediatrician who spent years practicing in a neonatal intensive care unit for infants and attending hundreds of deliveries, Dr. Aussprung is in a particularly unique position to evaluate the claims of women who received treatment at the hands of Dr. Gosnell or his employees. Dr. Aussprung has been trained to deal with newborn complications, premature birth and fetal demise, which are all issues that will likely arise in any cases filed against Dr. Gosnell.