US Plastic Surgeon, 41, Arrested After Wife Dies During Surgery

US Plastic Surgeon, 41, Arrested After Wife Dies During Surgery

An autopsy into the death of Hillary Brown is pending.

A 41-year-old plastic surgeon in the United States has been arrested over the death of his wife who went into cardiac arrest on his operating table in November last year. The doctor, identified as Benjamin Brown, was taken into custody on Monday and charged with one count of second-degree felony homicide for alleged manslaughter by culpable negligence in the death of his wife Hillary Ellington Brown. According to The Independent, he turned himself in to the police after a warrant was put out for his arrest on Friday. 

In a press note, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to the 41-year-old’s practice, Restore Plastic Surgery, in Florida, for a medical emergency on November 21. Upon arriving at the scene, first responders located a female victim – later identified as Hillary Brown – suffering from cardiac arrest. She was taken to a hospital, where she was put on life support before she was pronounced dead. An autopsy into her death is pending. 

“The autopsy protocol typically takes several months as it usually is dependent on extensive laboratory and toxicology tests as well as the information gathered by our Major Crimes detectives concerning the circumstances of the death,” the police department said in a statement. 

Benjamin Brown is being held in the county’s jail pending his bond hearing, the statement added. 

According to The Independent, on the day Ms Hillary went into cardiac arrest, she was scheduled to undergo miniature muscle plication/abdominal scar revision, bilateral arm liposuction, lip injections, and ear adjustment procedures. She reportedly prepared her own anaesthesia before the surgeries. She also ingested a handful of multicoloured pills, including Valium. 

Shortly before the procedures, she began experiencing symptoms relating to sedation. When she went into the operating room, her husband administered additional anaesthesia without being able to verify what his wife took. He subsequently did not record his wife’s medication and dosage. At one point, his wife told him that her vision was becoming blurry and she saw “orange”. Moreover, she experienced restlessness, muscle twitching and blurred vision which are common symptoms of toxicity. The 41-year-old, however, continued injecting drugs into her face, following which she became unresponsive and started to seize.

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At this point, a medical assistant asked the doctor if they should call emergency services and he said “no”. In the next 20 minutes, the assistant asked again and he said “no” or “wait,” the outlet reported. 

The plastic surgeon began to panic and requested his assistants to bring him supplies, including an oxygen tank and stethoscope. However, as the medical assistant was new, they found it difficult to find the items. Meanwhile, instead of calling an ambulance, Brown allegedly “shouted” at the staff, asking “What medication did she take?” 

About 10 to 20 minutes after Hillary Brown suffered a seizure, Brown instructed an assistant to call 911, but his wife never regained consciousness. 

The medical board determined that Brown’s treatment of his wife was “careless and haphazard”. Moreover, in May, Florida’s Department of Health issued an emergency order restricting the doctor’s medical license to only perform procedures or surgeries in a licensed hospital while under the supervision of a licensed physician. The department is pursuing disciplinary action in the case. Ben Brown, on the other hand, has chosen to challenge the allegations made against him and the case will be heard by the Division for Administrative Hearings. 

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