News Release March 2, 2011
MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA
March 2, 2011
Medical Board of California obtains Order to prohibit
Los Angeles physician from practicing medicine after his found guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter
SACRAMENTO At the request of the Medical Board of California, the medical license of Roberto Ramon Bonilla, M.D., was suspended indefinitely by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge on February 28, 2011. The Order is effective immediately. "The mission of the Medical Board is public protection, and this action reflects the Board's ongoing commitment to that mission," said Linda Whitney, executive director of the Board.
In June 2008, the Board received notice from the Inglewood Police Department that a patient had died during an attempted surgery in Dr. Bonillas medical office. The Board opened an investigation. The case was subsequently sent to the Office of the Attorney General and the Los Angeles County District Attorneys Office for review.
On January 26, 2009, the Board filed an Ex Parte Interim Order of Suspension, after it was alleged Dr. Bonilla was guilty of gross negligence and incompetence, when he performed a major surgery in his private office without the necessary medical equipment or medical personnel (including an anesthetist), administered an overdose of an anesthetic agent, which caused the patient to stop breathing, and did not properly address the patients respiratory arrest. He performed CPR for over two hours and did not call emergency personnel for help. The Boards request was granted on January 27, 2010, when an Administrative Law Judge in the Office of Administration Hearings agreed to an Order of Interim License Restriction. The Order was effective immediately. In that Order, Dr. Bonilla was restricted from performing or assisting in any surgery outside of a licensed hospital or surgical center until he passed the Physician Assessment and Clinical Education Program offered at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, and could only perform surgery after first obtaining from the facility a copy of their current and valid license certification.
On February 10, 2009, the Board filed an Accusation against Dr. Bonilla alleging he violated Business and Professions (B&P) Code section 2234(b) (Gross Negligence), which resulted in the loss of human life, when he attempted to repair a hernia and remove a gallbladder from a patient in his medical office under local anesthesia; B&P Code section 2234(d) (Incompetence), in that he lacked the education, knowledge, and experience to discharge the duties of his license, resulting in the loss of human life; and B&P Code section 2234(c) (Repeated Negligent Acts) when he committed repeated negligent acts during his care, treatment, and management of the patient.
In February 2011, a criminal hearing was held in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles. On February 25, 2011, a jury found Dr. Bonilla guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter. Dr. Bonilla was remanded to custody, and the judge suspended his license indefinitely. His sentencing is scheduled for March 25, 2011.
The public record documents in this case can be accessed on our Web site at www.mbc.ca.gov under the heading "Enforcement Public Documents."
The mission of the Medical Board is to protect health care consumers through the proper licensing and regulation of physicians and surgeons and certain allied health care professions and through the vigorous, objective enforcement of the Medical Practice Act, and, to promote access to quality medical care through the Board's licensing and regulatory functions.
If you have a question or complaint about the health care you are receiving, the Board encourages you to visit its Web site at www.mbc.ca.gov or call the Consumer Information Line at (916) 263-2382 or (800) 633-2322.
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