Abortionist Ordered to Pay $10 Million
On April 24, 1994, the New York Times reported that Dr. Thomas Tucker, II, had been the subject of two criminal investigations. One involving the death of a patient in Birmingham and the other regarding allegations that he killed a newborn moments after it was born alive. An abortion involving a "live birth" is commonly referred to a "complication". Abortion may be legal, but infanticide is NOT!
His medical license was suspended and that news made national headlines. He was the focus of feature articles in USA Today (7/17/94), The New York Times (4/24/94) and Time Magazine (8/9/93).
He performed 70% of the abortions in Mississippi and also performed abortions at 2 clinics in Alabama.
In 1991, Dr. Tucker performed an abortion on an Alabama mother of 5. He was advised (by his staff) against the abortion, due to the fact that she had a fever, and her hemoglobin levels were low, which could lead to excessive bleeding. He replied, "You know we need the money. Just do it. Just put the patient through."
After the abortion, she had difficulty breathing, her blood pressure dropped, and she bled excessively. Dr. Tucker gave her medications and then deactivated the pulse oximeter and blood pressure monitor alarms which were sounding off. He had her taken to a recovery room that had no equipment for monitoring vital signs, because he needed the room to perform more abortions.
When her condition worsened, a staff member called an ambulance. According to testimony given, Dr. Tucker canceled the ambulance saying "he could not afford to send another patient to UAB because doctors down there would hang him."
She continued to bleed and a staff member told the doctor, "I want you to do something. She is going to lay there and die." He called an ambulance and then left the clinic before the ambulance arrived. The patient was taken to University of Alabama-Birmingham Hospital where she died 3 days later.
Upon learning of the lawsuit against him, Dr. Tucker attempted to destroy the records by setting them on fire, which set off the fire alarms. Fearful of the fire department finding them, he handed them to a staffer with instructions to take them home and destroy them. She kept them for 2 years and then produced them for this suit.
The patient's family was awarded $ 10,000,000 after the court found it "difficult to imagine a case more appropriate for an award of punitive or exemplary damages."
The family of the victim was represented by Theodore H. Amshoff, Jr, of AMSHOFF, DONOVAN, & SMITH, P.C. Mr. Amshoff said, "This award cannot bring this mother back to her family, but it demonstrates the enormous injury sustained by her 5 orphaned children, and sends a clear signal that shoddy and unsafe medical practices will not be tolerated."
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