Doctor sentenced to jail in abortion death case

Side note: Sometimes medical malpractice can cost a doctor a lot more than higher medical malpractice insurance premiums. Recently Rapin Osathanondh, age 67, was sentenced to a 2.5 years in jail for his negligence resulting in the death of Laura Hope Smith of Sandwich, Ma. The jail sentence was a result of Osathanondh’s failure to monitor Miss Smith after her abortion procedure; he also failed to call 911 when attempts to revive Smith failed. Investigators found that Osathanondh had falsified CPR certification cards and had taken shortcuts to make his office appear up to code, when in fact it was not. In addition to the jail term, Osathanondh was sentenced to pay Smith’s family 2 million dollars in a separate civil case.

By Karen Jeffrey

September 15, 2010 2:00 AMBARNSTABLE — The doctor who performed an abortion on Laura Hope Smith of Sandwich three years ago and admitted that his actions led to her death was escorted out of Barnstable Superior Court in handcuffs yesterday.

Rapin Osathanondh, 67, will serve at least three months in jail as a result of a plea negotiated Monday between his attorneys and Cape and Islands First Assistant District Attorney Brian Glenny. Osathanondh will serve that time in the Dukes County Jail in Edgartown, according to the plea agreement. He was sentenced to a 2½-year jail term with six months to serve. However, the plea agreement allows him out on parole after serving three months.

Osathanondh also settled a civil suit, agreeing to pay the victim’s parents, Tom and Eileen Smith of Sandwich,

$2 million. “Nobody won. Laura got justice, but it’s a tragedy all the way around,” Eileen Smith said.

Tom Smith said that despite Osathanondh affiliation with Harvard University he had “practiced Third World medicine” on patients like his daughter. Osathanondh was a research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health at the time of Smith’s abortion.

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