A Tel Aviv court on Thursday sentenced an anesthesiologist convicted of manslaughter in the death of a toddler to a record eight years in prison.
Neta-Li Borosky was 3 when she died in June 2005 during an operation to correct crossed eyes.
The eight-year sentence is the heaviest ever imposed on a doctor in Israel for medical malpractice. The surgeon was convicted of negligence and sentenced to four months' community service and a five-month suspended sentence.
During the operation, Dr. Svetlana Rousso-Lupo gave the child too much anesthesia and turned off the volume on a monitor that would have alerted medical staff that Borosky was in trouble. The Tel Aviv District Court stated in its March conviction, "The defendant effectively went to sleep during the surgery."
The court ruled that surgeon Haim Stolovitz's failure to monitor the patient's vital signs constituted negligence, but acquitted him of negligent manslaughter.
In the sentencing, the court wrote, "This was a little girl, entering a simple and routine surgery that should not have been risky. Instead of coming out a happy child full of life, as she entered the operating room, she came out in cardiac arrest and then died."
The court said of the defendant, "She didn't want the child to die, but all her actions led to an unnecessary death."
Neta-Li's mother Debbie Borosky said after Thursday's sentencing, "This is what I expected. I think she deserves every minute behind bars. You don't go into an operation to sleep and turn off the alarms. No one can bring our daughter back, but justice was served."
Borosky said, "If someone kills your child - you want justice. You don't want that person to just walk down the street after ruining your life. Until now, only we have been punished."
Rousso-Lupo's lawyer Shimshon Weiss called the penalty cruel, disproportionate and severe.
Is that how we treat a doctor who erred?" he said, stating that Rousso-Lupo made a judgment error and is shocked by the severity of the sentence. Weiss declared he would appeal to the Supreme Court.
Stolovitz also plans to appeal. Attorney Yehuda Weinstein argued that the court erred in punishing Stolovitz for not meeting a norm that was set in the current verdict. He also said this was the most severe sentence ever for Stolovitz's crime.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now