Intended for healthcare professionals


Philadelphia doctor who ran “baby charnel house” is charged with murder

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 25 January 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d489
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

Kermit Gosnell, a doctor who operated an abortion clinic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and nine associates were charged with eight counts of murder for allegedly killing seven babies who had been born alive by cutting their spinal cords with scissors and for the death of a 41 year old Bhutanese refugee woman who died from an overdose of painkiller in 2009.

The Philadelphia district attorney, Seth Williams, said that hundreds of other babies had probably died in Dr Gosnell’s clinic between 1979 and 2010.

State authorities have suspended Dr Gosnell’s licence and closed the clinic.

William Brennan, the lawyer who represented Dr Gosnell during the grand jury investigation, said that the doctor believed that he had provided general medical care in an impoverished area for 40 years. Mr Brennan said that he was no longer representing Dr Gosnell, the Associated Press news agency has reported.

A grand jury report called Dr Gosnell’s clinic dangerous and filthy. It recommended prosecuting Dr Gosnell and members of his …

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