Massachusetts Judge Rejects Doctor’s Guilty Plea to Involuntary Manslaughter in Liposuction Fatality

Middlesex Superior Court Judge Wendie Gershengorn rejected the guilty plea to involuntary manslaughter charges made by Luiz Carlos Ribeiro in the 2006 death of a female patient. Ribeiro, who was a licensed doctor in Brazil but does not have a license to practice in the United States, performed liposuction on Fabiola DePaula, a 24-year-old Brazilian immigrant, in his basement in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Ribeiro had been hoping to strike a plea agreement by pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter, but Judge Gershengorn turned him down. She says that she isn’t sure that his actions were reckless enough to warrant the plea.

Ribeiro says that he had all the equipment that he needed to perform the illegal operation on DePaula and that she would have died regardless of where the operation was performed.

Prosecutors disagree. They allege that Ribeiro did not have the proper equipment and safeguards to perform a liposuction operation in his basement. They say that DePaula’s death could have been avoided if the surgery had been performed at a hospital.

DePaula was administered illegal narcotics for the procedure. Following the procedure, she died at MetroWest Medical Center. Cause of death was listed as intraoperative complications from a liposuction procedure. She had paid Ribeiro $3,300 for liposuction and a nose job.

Ribeiro’s wife, Ana Maria Miranda Ribeiro, has already pled guilty to manslaughter charges and acting as his nurse. She was sentenced to a year in prison.

Judge rejects doctor’s plea in liposuction-related death, Boston Herald, January 30, 2008
Judge rejects guilty plea in fatal liposuction case,, January 30, 2008

Related Web Resource:

A death after liposuction exposes busy illegal clinic,, August 1, 2006

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