Fatal Butt Implants Reveal Dangers of Medical Procedures by Unlicensed Practitioners


June 21, 2013

The societal focus on beauty, personal appearance and weight loss sometimes motivates people to take unnecessary health risks to appear thinner, younger or more attractive.  While individuals are free to seek out elective medical procedures like breast implantation, liposuction and other cosmetic procedures, those considering such procedures should be cautious about “back alley plastic surgery.” It is dangerous to allow such procedures to be performed by someone without appropriate medical training and a medical license to perform these surgical procedures.

A vivid example of the risk of allowing a non-professional to conduct such a procedure is evidenced in the recent tragic death of two separate women following illegal injections of silicone in the women’s buttocks as reported in the Clarion Ledger.  The woman who performed the procedures does not appear to have had a medical license according to the Clarion Ledger report.  She allegedly performed the procedures from her home according to the article.  She was already facing charges of reckless murder following the death of an Atlanta woman whom she allegedly killed by injecting silicone in her buttocks when she was charged in a second death for the same conduct in Alabama after a second woman died following the procedure.  The Georgia woman died in an Atlanta hospital a few days after the procedure from a blood clot in her lung according to the Ledger.

Although it is legal to seek silicone butt injections, to be lawful these procedures must be performed by a licensed medical professional.  It is important that the person performing the procedure be a properly trained medical professional who uses sterile materials when performing the procedure.  The Science Daily journal points out that the FDA still has not formally approved the procedure because it can cause serious respiratory health issues, disfigurement and pain.

While the woman who allegedly conducted the medical procedures without proper training or a medical license faces criminal homicide charges, she also may be sued civilly for wrongful death by the families according to the Ledger report.  This type of case may be challenging because there may be difficulty establishing a source of recovery to pay a wrongful death judgment.  Because it is alleged that the woman was not a medical doctor, she would not have malpractice coverage.  The procedures also were not conducted in a medical facility so this, too, would seem to limit the sources for recovery.

We encourage anyone considering cosmetic procedures to be careful when selecting someone to perform the surgical procedure or treatment.  Licensed physicians who preform elective cosmetic surgery generally will have insurance to compensate patients for unintended medical errors or omissions, but mistakes by non-professionals in their homes may not present viable options for making victims whole.

Why Montlick & Associates?

If you or a loved one is injured or dies because of a botched cosmetic surgery or procedure, our Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

For over 30 years, the attorneys at Montlick & Associates have been helping families by concentrating its practice in personal injury law, providing caring and high quality legal representation. The firm was recently honored by the Georgia House of Representatives for its 30 years of service with the passing of House Resolution 394 recognizing Montlick & Associates for "the outstanding accomplishments of this distinguished firm," and “for providing efficient, effective and dedicated services to the citizens of Georgia." 

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Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.