Massachusetts abortionist surrenders medical license after negligent death claim


A Massachusetts abortionist has relinquished his medical license five months after a 22-year-old woman died while he was performing an abortion on her child.

The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine had already suspended the doctor’s medical license, declaring him a “risk to public safety.”

Dr. Rapin Osathanondh faces accusations that his negligence caused the death of Laura Hope Smith in September 2007.  On September 13, 2007 Smith was placed under full anesthesia while only the doctor and a non-medical receptionist were present at the Women’s Health Center in Hyannis.  When Smith suddenly stopped breathing, the receptionist dialed 911.  However, she gave little information to the dispatcher.

Smith died the next day. 

Laura’s mother Eileen Smith met with Dr. Osathanondh ten days after her death.  Eileen Smith was shown records that led her to believe the doctor’s negligence was responsible for the death.  She worked with the pro-life group Operation Rescue to press authorities to investigate Laura’s death.

On February 18 the Boston Medical Examiner’s office declared Laura’s cause of death to be “cardiac pulmonary arrest during anesthesia during a voluntary termination of pregnancy.”

On Wednesday, Dr. Osathanondh permanently surrendered his medical license, saying he will not practice medicine again anywhere.  His clinic is no longer accepting patients but instead refers them to other facilities.

After learning of the surrender of Dr. Osathanondh’s medical license, Eileen Smith told Operation Rescue, "I feel like this was a group effort and you were part of it!"

Operation Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger responded to the news, saying, "While nothing can bring back Laura and her baby, we take great comfort in knowing that Osathanondh will never again hurt another woman or kill another innocent child." 

"We commend Eileen Smith on her tireless dedication to seeking justice for Laura, in spite of the personal grief and huge obstacles that she had to overcome,” Sullenger said.

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