Guadalupe Negron, a 33-year-old mother of four from Honduras, went for a safe, legal abortion at Metro Women's Center in Queens, New York, on July 9, 1993. She was accompanied by her niece.
A receptionist for the facility noted that after Dr. David Benjamin had performed Guadalupe's abortion at 10AM, she was moved to the recovery room and left unattended for over an hour. When Benjamin's wife, who acted as his assistant, brought Guadalupe into an examination room, she came out screaming "Oh my God! Oh my God!" and "Call the ambulance! Call the ambulance!" However, the ambulance was not summoned until 1:40 PM.
When paramedics arrived, they found Guadalupe naked and bloody, with a nurse screaming and trying to revive her in a small, unventilated room with an inadequate oxygen tank and no necessary equipment such as a blood pressure cuff. They also noted that Benjamin had inserted a breathing tube into Guadalupe's stomach instead of her trachea, causing stomach fluids to travel up the tube, into her mouth, and down into her lungs.
The paramedics also indicated that they were hindered in their attempts to save Guadalupe's life because Benjamin lied to them about the nature of her problem.
The autopsy report found that in trying to extract a 20-week fetus, Benjamin had lacerated Guadalupe's cervix and punctured her uterus. She hemorrhaged and went into shock and cardiac arrest. Authorities determined that Benjamin had initiated the risky procedure without having first examined the patient.
Benjamin was indicted for second degree murder due to "depraved indifference to human life." One of the paramedics told a reporter, "I wouldn't take my dog there (Benjamin's clinic)." New York newspapers covering Benjamin's murder trial discovered that he had a long history of malpractice and had changed his name from Elias Bonrouhi to David Benjamin in order to cover up his record. Benjamin was convicted, and his license was revoked.
Sources: New York Daily News 7-11-93, 7-13-93, 7-14-93; New York Post 8-11-93; Medical Board Order No. BPMC-93-79; New York Times Metro 7-18-95, 7-20-95; AP in West Sound Sun 7-13-95; New York Times 7-10-93
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