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Doctor loses license in live birth abortion case

Posted by kayms99 on February 7, 2009

From Kim Segal
CNN

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) — A doctor’s license was revoked Friday in the case of a teenager who planned to have an abortion but instead gave birth to a baby she says was killed when clinic staffers put it into a plastic bag and threw it in the trash.

Pierre Jean-Jacques Renelique, right, and his attorney, Joseph Harrison, at the hearing.

Pierre Jean-Jacques Renelique, right, and his attorney, Joseph Harrison, at the hearing.

The doctor, Pierre Jean-Jacques Renelique, also is the subject of a criminal investigation. Renelique was not present when the baby was born, but the Florida Medical Board upheld Department of Health allegations that he falsified medical records, inappropriately delegated tasks to unlicensed personnel and committed malpractice.

Joseph Harrison, the attorney representing Renelique at the license revocation hearing in Tampa, said Renelique has not decided whether to appeal.

The state attorney’s office, meanwhile, said its criminal investigation into the incident is ongoing and no charges have been filed. A fetus born alive cannot be put to death even if its mother intended to have an abortion, police said when the incident occurred in 2006.

The baby’s mother, Sycloria Williams, sued Renelique, the clinic and its staff in January, seeking damages.

She alleges in her suit that “she witnessed the murder of her daughter” and said she “sustained severe emotional distress, shock and psychic trauma which have resulted in discernible bodily injury.”

“This is not about a pot of gold,” said Tom Pennekamp, her attorney. “What this is about is right and wrong and making a statement, making sure it doesn’t happen to other young women.”

According to the suit, Williams, then 18, discovered while being treated for a fall that she was 23 weeks pregnant. She went to a clinic to get an abortion on the morning of July 20, 2006, after receiving medication and instructions the previous day.

Renelique was not at the clinic, however, and Williams was told to wait for him. She was given two pills and told they would make her ill. When she complained of feeling ill, clinic staff members gave her a robe and told her to lie down in a patient room, the suit says.

Renelique was still not present when Williams “felt a large pain” and delivered a baby girl, according to the suit.

“The staff began screaming and pandemonium ensued. Sycloria watched in horror and shock as her baby writhed with her chest rising and falling as she breathed.”

A clinic co-owner entered the room and used a pair of shears to cut the baby’s umbilical cord, the suit said. She “then scooped up the baby and placed the live baby, placenta and afterbirth in a red plastic biohazard bag, which she sealed, and then threw bag and the baby in a trash can.”

Staff at the clinic did not call 911 or seek medical assistance for Williams or the baby, the suit said.

Renelique arrived at the clinic about an hour later and gave Williams a shot to put her to sleep. “She awoke after the procedure and was sent home still in complete shock,” the suit said.

Police were notified of the incident by an anonymous caller who told them the baby was born alive and disposed of.

“The complainant [Williams] observed the baby moving and gasping for air for approximately five minutes,” according to a police affidavit requesting a search warrant for the clinic.

Two search warrants found nothing, but officers executing a third warrant “found the decomposing body of a baby in a cardboard box in a closet,” the suit said.

The baby was linked to Williams through DNA testing, the lawsuit said. An autopsy showed it had filled its lungs with air prior to death. Documents from the state Department of Health said its cause of death was determined to be “extreme prematurity.”

Fewer than 1 percent of babies are born at less than 28 weeks, according to the March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization aimed at reducing premature births, birth defects and infant mortality.

Infants born at that stage may survive, but require treatment with oxygen, other medical help and mechanical assistance to help them breathe. They are too immature to suck or swallow and so must be fed intravenously.

Babies born before about 32 weeks of gestation face the highest risk of health problems, the March of Dimes said.

Williams’ lawsuit seeks damages from Renelique, the clinic and its staff. It claims that clinic records were falsified to say only that Williams underwent an abortion. Williams filed the suit individually and “as personal representative of the estate of Shanice Denise Osbourne, deceased,” the suit said.

The medical board’s action Friday came at the request of the Florida Department of Health, which filed an order in February 2007 seeking emergency restrictions on Renelique’s license. Department documents list many of the same allegations as Williams’ lawsuit.

“Dr. Renelique’s failure to practice medicine with that level of care, skill and treatment that is recognized as being acceptable, as well as his willingness to falsify medical records, poses a serious and immediate danger to the public,” the health department said.

Renelique did not respond to the health department or dispute the facts it alleged, department spokeswoman Eulinda Jackson said Friday.

Williams has declined to speak publicly about the case, said Pennekamp, her attorney. She suffers from post-traumatic stress because of the experience, he said.

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9 Responses to “Doctor loses license in live birth abortion case”

  1. Lawman2 said

    makes me sick,and pisses me off.what a sick piece of shit the person who placed that baby in the plastic bag and throw her away like a piece of trash.

    Like

  2. noseycow said

    lawman – frankly any woman or doctor who seeks or allows an abortion after 18 weeks (except through extreme medical conditions) makes me sick…

    There is no need in this day and age when we can confirm pregnancy at 4 weeks (2 weeks in USA speak).

    Talking of which rumour on the grapevine has it that CONGRATULATIONS are in order. It is such a special time when you are expecting a baby, all the best to you, your partner and bump. 😀

    Like

  3. douglaskev said

    wtf?

    i can’t believe that.

    i understand that they freaked out, but…tossing the child in the trash?

    stupid doctor. did he really think this wouldn’t get out? If he hadn’t falsified records, he wouldn’t have been in nearly as much trouble…

    Like

  4. Lawman2 said

    hey thanks noseycow!i enjoyed the post from your blog with the bus ad! http://madhatters.me.uk/2009/02/07/it-wasnt-her-honest/ made me chuckle!

    hey there kev!the whole abortion thing makes me sick to begin with,now this!

    Like

  5. Lawman2 said

    i am glad they were able to prove he had falsified the medical records.

    Like

  6. Sad situation, all around, and I agree with the general sentiment posted here that a fetus, even an aborted 23 week old fetus, should not be disposed of so callously and the mother/child should have re’d counseling.

    Questions to consider: what should have been done? what would have been in the best interests of both children–the 18 year old giving birth and her fetus?

    what was the likelihood of the fetus surviving much longer? what resources would have been required to get a 23 week old infant to a place where she could have re’d necessary care? what about the magnitude of costs that would have been involved? who should have to pay for those resources? lots and lots of questions

    Again, this is terrible. I agree that unless the life of the mother is in danger, abortions should not be considered that late in a pregnancy, but it was, and it happened.

    what SHOULD have happened next? what COULD have happened next?

    and how could the staff have known that a previously unwanted pregnancy would turn into a wanted premature baby?

    Like

  7. Wyndee said

    Oh boy. My heart hurts so bad right now. If Abortion is a alternative to adoption, and its the thing thats being pushed to young women…. Why if a baby is actually born, would we dare to think that is coinsidence… would we dare to end its LIFE…. My friend Kimmy was born so early she was only 2 lbs. =) She just turned 30. The realness is, people are open to adoption. VERY OPEN!! The very sad truth is that we are becoming hostile towards children as a society.
    California is trying to make adoptions only available to ppl with 2 children or less. The cost for adoption is rising, and the cost for abortion is getting cheaper and cheaper!!! My husbands business partner and his wife just went to Africa to adopt, and it was cheaper to fly there, stay for 7 weeks, and adopt there then in America.
    In Oregon, if you have an abortion (which is legal at 14) you immediatly get on Oregon Health Plan. The state pays your health fees for 6 months. FREE!! Abortion clinics get bonuses from Insurance companies for proforming massive amounts of abortions. So when you speak of cost to keep a child alive, Americans doesnt consider the cost of anything unless its not in their interest. ya know?

    http://www.abortionfacts.com/providers/quotes.asp

    This is an incredible sobering article and webiste. This particular article is from an X-DOCTOR who had 11 clinics and quit one day because he couldnt stand it anymore.

    Noone should be able to choose to kill a baby. We have several forms of birth control.. Abortion has gone from, saving women from a mistake they made and giving them a second chance, to a form of birth control. We can choose to kill, but there should be consequence. We should not be able to shirk our responsabilities.. But our culture has catered to this mentality. The same holds true with bankruptcy. Intended to help those who made a mistake and need help getting out… and now what….?

    We are not being told all that there is to know. How can anyone make an educated decision? Without the facts.. all we have is 1/2 the story.

    http://www.priestsforlife.org/postabortion/postabortiontestimonywomen.htm

    hundreds of testamonies…. so sad… these poor women, never saw it coming.

    Like

  8. noseycow said

    wyndee – you are right most women just don’t see the long term affects of their decision. That said I don’t think it is down to the state or anyone else to dictate what a woman can or can’t do if she finds herself pregnant with an unwanted child.

    The answer surely must lie in sex education, while we cringe at the thought of our young teenage daughters having access to advice and condoms at school, I’d rather mine had the option of this support to aid her in her decision making if she felt that she couldn’t come to her parents.

    I would like her to be in a position that she actively chooses when/if its right for her to become pregnant and in 2009 I can’t see why this shouldn’t apply to all women.

    Like

  9. lawman2 said

    hey there nosey!good to read ya again!
    loved the post on your blog http://madhatters.me.uk/2009/02/12/devolve-yourself/
    had some fun with that site duncanr pasted!

    Like

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