SYDNEY, Nov. 01, 2006
NRI doctor, Suman Sood, 57, was today given a two
year good behaviour bond and escaped a prison term after she was
found guilty of performing unlawful abortions. Carolyn Simpson,
Supreme Court Justice, today held that a custodial sentence would
be inappropriate. Justice Simpson ruled the banned doctor's behaviour,
which the Crown had argued had shown disregard to the patient for
her own convenience, could not be taken into account in sentencing
because it occured after the crime.
Suman also found there was little evidence of emotional
injury to the patient, because any injury she might have suffered
would have been due to the circumstances of the birth of the baby
or its death in utero. She became the first person in New South
Wales (NSW) in more than 25 years to be found guilty of performing
Earlier this month a NSW medical tribunal banned Sood from practicing
for 10 years. Sood should not receive a igher sentence to deter
other doctors, Justice Simpson said because her conviction and the
publicity of the case should be enough to discourage them.
SYDNEY, Nov. 25, 2005
NRI, (non-resident Indian) Dr. Suman Sood, 56 has been charged
with manslaughter because she allegedly failed to follow the procedures
which make abortion legal in NSW. Dr Suman Sood allegedly gave
a 20-year-old woman an abortion drug who was about 23 weeks pregnant
in May 2002, then asked her to come back the next day. But she
didn't make it, delivering the baby boy into a toilet. He survived
for about four hours.
Dr. Sood's lawyer had argued that the young woman's evidence
was unreliable because she could not remember all details of the
consultation with Sood.
Tony Marsden, Liverpool local court magistrate found yesterday
that the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was a "straightforward
and uncomplicated young woman" who showed no ill will or
bias to the doctor and never denied she had wanted the abortion.
He found there was a reasonable prospect of a conviction and committed
Sood to trial.
Doctor says she didn't
By Geesche Jacobsen
August 13, 2005
The doctor at the centre of the first NSW abortion court case
in more than 30 years says she did not agree to perform the abortion
that has seen her charged with manslaughter.
Dr Suman Sood, the owner of the Fairfield abortion clinic Australian
Women's Health, said in a document tendered in Liverpool Local
Court that she had instead referred the woman to Brisbane for
the late abortion, saying it could not be legally performed in
Sood has been facing a committal hearing on charges of manslaughter
because she allegedly failed to follow the procedures which make
abortion legal in NSW.
It is alleged she gave the woman a tablet and sent her home,
where she gave birth about 12 hours later, 22 weeks into her pregnancy.
The statement is contained in an affidavit by Sood, prepared
weeks after the incident in 2002 .
In it, Sood said she had advised the woman on Saturday, May 18,
to consider whether she wanted an abortion, and if so, to return
on Tuesday to get a referral to a Brisbane clinic.
In Queensland, abortions are illegal only after 24 weeks.
Sood said in the statement the woman, who cannot be named for
legal reasons, came to the surgery on Monday - when it was closed
- complaining of abdominal pain. Sood said she happened to be
there to fetch something, and examined the woman.
"I concluded that the patient was not in labour but could
be having Braxton Hicks [false] contractions. I recommended that
the patient take paracetamol and also gave her two Tri-Profen
[pain relief] tablets," the affidavit says.
"At no time did I agree to perform a TOP [termination of
pregnancy] for this patient or did I give her any medication which
would have that effect. I did not administer anything in the patient's
vagina. I did not ask for or receive any money."
The woman this week told the court she had come to the surgery
by appointment and was given one tablet vaginally and two orally
to "soften up the baby" for the procedure the following
day. She said Sood had asked for a $500 payment, but she had only
$400 and was not given a receipt.
By the time of her next scheduled appointment she had given birth
and been taken to hospital.
There, the woman said, she received a call from Sood, who was
checking whether she was keeping her appointment.
When she told Sood she had delivered the baby, she said the doctor
reminded her that she still owed $100 from the previous day. The
woman said she was told the total cost of the abortion would be
A nurse at the clinic, Minna Zoretic, told police in a statement
tendered in court that she had counselled the woman and had asked
her about her circumstances and her reasons for seeking an abortion.
Abortion is legal in NSW if a doctor considers the dangers to
the woman's physical and mental health, and her economic and social
circumstances, before agreeing to the woman's request to perform
the procedure, and weighs up the risks.
In another statement tendered, Joan Chodat, another staff member
at the clinic, said Sood gave her some tablets to give to the
woman on Monday because the doctor had to leave. She said she
did not know what the tablets were.