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Florida Doctor Loses License in Live Birth Abortion Case

The Florida doctor’s license was revoked in the case of a teenager who planned to have an abortion but instead gave birth to a baby she says was killed when clinic staffers put it into a plastic bag and threw it in the trash.

The doctor, Pierre Jean-Jacques Renelique, was not present when the baby was born, but the Florida Medical Board upheld Department of Health allegations that he falsified medical records, inappropriately delegated tasks to unlicensed personnel and committed malpractice.


The state attorney’s office, meanwhile, said its criminal investigation into the incident is ongoing and no charges have been filed. A fetus born alive cannot be put to death even if its mother intended to have an abortion.

Police were notified of the incident by an anonymous caller who told them the baby was born alive and disposed of.

Fewer than 1 percent of babies are born at less than 28 weeks, according to the March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization aimed at reducing premature births, birth defects and infant mortality.

Infants born at that stage may survive, but require treatment with oxygen, other medical help and mechanical assistance to help them breathe. They are too immature to suck or swallow and so must be fed intravenously.

The medical board’s action came at the request of the Florida Department of Health, which filed an order in February 2007 seeking emergency restrictions on Renelique’s license. Department documents list many of the same allegations as the woman’s lawsuit.

“Dr. Renelique’s failure to practice medicine with that level of care, skill and treatment that is recognized as being acceptable, as well as his willingness to falsify medical records, poses a serious and immediate danger to the public,” the health department said.

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