Massachusetts Gynecologist Is Sued For Wrongful Death

Dr. Rapin Osathanondh, the Massachusetts gynecologist whose patient died last September at his Women’s Health Center in Hyannis, is being sued for wrongful death. The wrongful death plaintiff is Eileen Smith, the mother of 22-year-old Laura Hope Smith, who died during an abortion procedure. Smith is asking for punitive damages for the gross negligence that she says caused her daughter’s death.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed on March 10 in Barnstable Superior Court. Smith’s defense team says that Osathanondh failed to properly monitor Laura’s vital signs while she was under anesthesia. Osathanondh and a receptionist were the only ones present during the abortion.

The receptionist called 911 after Smith stopped breathing. Cause of death was “cardiac pulmonary arrest during anesthesia during a voluntary termination of pregnancy.”

Osathanondh says that Laura’s death was an unfortunate outcome and that he was not negligent. He surrendered his medical license and resigned from practicing medicine last month–just as Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine was about to suspend his license following Laura’s death. His primary medical practice was located in Brookline.

Last week, Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said he would try to obtain a grand jury criminal indictment against the gynecologist.

Gynecological Malpractice
Injuries caused by gynecological or obstetric malpractice can be very physically and emotionally traumatic for the patient. Injury victims and families of patients that have died because of medical malpractice are entitled to personal injury or wrongful death recovery.

Common Kinds of Gynecological Malpractice:

• Abortion errors • Inappropriate behavior during an examination • Failure to diagnose • Wrong diagnosis • Hysterectomy mistakes • Errors during testing • Birthing errors
Doctor faces lawsuit, possible indictment, Cape Cod Times, March 21, 2008
Doc gives up license over Sandwich abortion death,, February 21, 2008

Related Web Resource:

Cause and Effect Analysis of Closed Claims in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Green Journal, 2005

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