Doctor Convicted of Manslaughter in Child Death

An anesthesiologist was convicted of manslaughter yesterday over the 2005 death of a 3-year-old during surgery to correct cross-eyedness.

Dr. Svetlana Rousso-Lupo gave Neta Li Borosky too high a dose of anesthesia and disconnected a monitor that would have alerted the medical team in time to help the girl.

The ophthalmic surgeon, Dr. Haim Stolovitz, was acquitted of negligent manslaughter, but was convicted of a hasty and negligent act, which is punishable by up to three years in jail. Department chief Dr. Adrian Michaelka and Assuta Medical Center were acquitted of negligent manslaughter.

"No sentence will being our Neta Li back," Borosky's parents said after the verdict was read in a Tel Aviv court.

"The evidence indicates that Rousso-Lupo essentially fell asleep during surgery," stated Judge Zvi Gurfinkel in his ruling. "The defendant covered herself with a sheet, sat back in a chair with a book on her chest and silenced the monitor's alarm."

Gurfinkel also noted that the surgeon must be a full partner to tracking a patient's vital signs during surgery, and is not entitled to delegate sole responsibility to the anesthesiologist. He found Stolovitz guilty of negligence for his failure to do so.

He acquitted Michaelka of negligence in setting doctors' schedules in general and in setting Rousso-Lupo's schedule specifically, and found that Michaelka had even scolded Rousso-Lupo for falling asleep during surgeries.

Parents Debbie and Marcelo Borosky said after the verdict that Rousso-Lupo had gotten what she deserved.

"An anesthesiologist shouldn't enter a surgery to take a nap. We also believe the surgeon is responsible. We went to him because he was considered the best, and our daughter died."

Rousso-Lupo's defense attorney Shimshon Weiss said in response, "This is a tragic case. I believe the court based its ruling on faulty evidence. We are considering appealing the conviction."

Stolovitz's defense attorney Yehuda Weinstein stated after the verdict, "My client was acquitted of negligent manslaughter, and the judge ruled there was no causal connection between his actions and the tragic result. The judge convicted Stolovitz of failing to listen to the monitor, a negligent offense unrelated to causing the death."

A spokeswoman for Assuta said, "The anesthesiologist was reckless and apathetic, and was fired immediately after the tragic event. Although the hospital and the department chief were acquitted of any wrongdoing, procedures were restructured to prevent a similar occurrence. The hospital extends its condolences to the family."