A Colorado plastic surgeon has been convicted in the death of a 19-year-old female patient whom he performed breast augmentation on.
A jury in Arapahoe County cleared Dr Geoffrey Kim of negligent homicide, the most serious charge he faced, but did find him guilty of attempted reckless manslaughter and obstructing a telephone service following a week-long trial, The Denver Post reported.
Throughout the proceedings, prosecutors argued that Kim did not immediately call 911 after then-18-year-old Emmalyn Nguyen went into cardiac arrest while she underwent surgery at his clinic in August 2019.
The doctor only called emergency responders five hours later, but Nguyen had fallen into a coma and died a year later.
“We understand medical procedures don’t always go as planned, but this defendant showed a shocking and extreme lack of judgment and humanity by failing to call for an ambulance and denying his patient appropriate treatment in a hospital setting,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Gary Dawson told the newspaper in a statement.
“…This defendant made decisions based on what was best for his business, and not for his patient.”
Meanwhile, Kim’s defence argued that the large dose of fentanyl and other drugs administered by anaesthetist Rex Meeker were to blame for Nguyen’s complications.
Mr Meeker was initially charged in the investigation but the case against him was dropped last year.
He testified during the trial that Kim performed CPR on Nguyen but ordered staff at Colorado Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery not to call emergency services.
Mr Meeker surrendered his nursing license in 2021, while Kim’s license was briefly suspended in 2020 before it was reinstated on a probationary condition for three years.
Kim is now facing up to more than three years in prison, according to the Post. His sentencing is scheduled for September.
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