Queens Gynecologist Charged with Manslaughter After Patient’s Death

Sarah May | October 19th, 2016

US-Supreme-CourtIn a rather unusual twist of events, a New York gynecologist is being charged with manslaughter following the death of a patient in what has been described as a botched second trimester abortion procedure.

Dr. Robert Rho of the Liberty Women’s Health Clinic in Flushing is being accused of puncturing the uterus of a 30-year-old woman, cutting an artery, causing a laceration of the cervix and failing to prevent her subsequent demise due to excessive blood loss.

Details of allegations

According to district attorney Richard A. Brown, the patient was required to undergo an additional procedure prior to her release from the doctor’s office, but was ultimately permitted to leave even though she collapsed and exhibited signs of disorientation. En route to her sister’s home, the patient became unresponsive and was taken to the hospital where she received treatment for excessive bleeding. Unfortunately, she died later that evening. It is now alleged that Dr. Rho was reckless in his treatment of the patient and also in his failure to provide critical medical assistance in a timely manner.

Rare decision to prosecute

The filing of manslaughter charges stemming from a failed medical procedure is indeed unusual, with the filing of a civil medical malpractice action being a far more typical result. An attorney for Dr. Rho maintains that criminal charges in this case are utterly inappropriate and that the case is one of civil negligence at worse and at best, one in which unfortunate, unforeseen circumstances intervened to produce a tragic result.

Dr. Rho’s legal counsel went on to claim that his client has performed thousands of similar procedures without issue and has no prior history of negligence concerns lodged against him.

Though quite rare, the charges against Dr. Rho are not without precedent. In 1995, Queens physician Dr. David Benjamin was convicted of second-degree murder following the death of a 33-year-old patient who died due to negligence during a second trimester abortion procedure. In the current case, the accused physician has been released on $400,000 bail bond, has voluntarily shuttered his office and is restricted from practicing medicine until resolution of the case has been achieved.

New York medical malpractice attorneys

Nobody ever consents to undergo a medical procedure thinking that the physician they trust may fail to meet the prevailing standard of care. When negligence of that sort ends up causing serious injury or death, justice demands that those who suffer the resulting losses have an opportunity to pursue full and fair financial compensation. The attorneys at The Sanders Firm are all too familiar with the agonizing aftermath of medical negligence and are committed to seeking full accountability from those responsible.

If you or a loved one have experienced devastating harm because a trusted medical professional has provided substandard, negligent treatment, you may be able to secure significant recovery in the form of payment for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, emotional trauma, disfigurement, ongoing therapy and care and, in cases of wrongful death, funeral expenses and support for surviving dependents.

To begin the process of healing and to learn more about your legal options, contact us at 1.800.FAIR.PLAY.


  1. The New York Times, Queens Doctor Is Charged in Woman's Death After Abortion Procedure, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/12/nyregion/queens-doctor-is-charged-for-womans-death-after-abortion-procedure.html?_r=0

  2. New York Daily News, Queens gynecologist arrested for manslaughter three months after woman bled to death after abortion, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/queens-gynecologist-hit-manslaughter-charges-article-1.2826925

  3. Fox News, In NYC, rare abortion death leads to rarer prosecution, http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/10/13/in-nyc-rare-abortion-death-leads-to-rarer-prosecution.html