Doctor gives-up license after liposuction death

(NBC) - A South Florida doctor is giving up his medical license after he caused the death last year of a woman during a liposuction procedure, generating attention around the world.

Dr. Omar Brito Marin voluntarily surrendered his Florida medical license, according to his lawyer and the state Department of Health, after the DOH ruled he was "an immediate serious danger to the health, safety, (and) welfare of the public."

The woman's widower is now realizing his ardent hope of preventing Brito from doing more harm to others.

"He can't bring his wife back," attorney Anthony Russo said Monday of client Joe Orukotan, whose wife Rohie Kah-Orukotan died under Brito's watch. "But what he'd like to do is make sure no one else becomes a victim of a poor medical procedure."

Brito declined to be interviewed, but, through his attorney Brian Bieber, he said he is "crushed at the unforeseen consequences of a routine procedure." Bieber said Brito is "still in shock about this accidental death under his watch."

Florida State Surgeon General Dr. Ana M. Viamonte, in invoking a temporary suspension of Brito's license March 4, ruled that Brito not only committed malpractice but "administered drugs in an inappropriate manner and in excessive amounts" after giving 37-year-old Rohie Kah-Orukotan three different drugs during the September 2009 procedure that, in combination and in large amounts, killed her, according to the Broward County Medical Examiner.

Surgeon General Viamonte also said Brito was under-trained for liposuction procedures. He took only 18 hours of training during a weekend course offered by a firm promoting liposuction procedures for gynecologists, a violation of state statutes.

Viamonte also ruled the clinic, a Med Spa in a Weston strip mall that offers manicures, tanning booths, and spa treatments, did not meet state specifications to offer that level of surgery. A Med Spa manager declined to comment other than to say they no longer offer liposuction.

Brito's attorney also said the "emergency suspension has critically hampered his ability to earn a living. Negative publicity surrounding the unfortunate tragic and accidental death has ruined his medical career. To engage in a lengthy battle is not something he can financially or emotionally do at this stage in his life."

The Department of Health is expected to accept the voluntarily resignation soon. It would almost certainly preclude Dr. Brito from practicing in any other state, but would not necessarily prevent him from practicing in another country. His lawyer did not rule that out, saying Dr. Brito would "most likely not" practice outside the U.S.

"He's so angry," said Russo, Orukotan's lawyer. "He believes Brito took his wife away."

He said Orukotan is not after money – Brito is without medical insurance anyway. Orukotan is more focused on encouraging a nationwide crackdown on ill-prepared liposuction clinics and their doctors.

The widower is raising four children who, according to Russo, "ask for their mom every night."

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