SAO PAULO – A Brazilian anesthetist accused of practicing almost 10,000 illegal abortions was found dead in her car after apparently committing suicide, authorities said on Monday.
The body of Neide Mota Machado, whose medical license was revoked earlier this year, was found Sunday afternoon by a farm worker outside a ranch that she often visited, police in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul said.
The authorities are investigating whether the death was a murder or a suicide, since beside the woman were found a hypodermic syringe, a personal diary and jars of Lidocaine anesthetic.
Mota Machado, accused of practicing 9,896 illegal abortions, was set to go on trial soon for 25 of the abortions for which she is charged.
Also implicated in the case are four employees at Mota Machado’s clinic in Campo Grande, capital of Mato Grosso do Sul.
The Regional Medical Council revoked Mota Machado’s professional license in July for violating the medical code of ethics.
Brazilian law allows abortion only in cases of rape, risk of the mother’s death or severe deformation of the fetus, and even then the procedure must be authorized by a court.
More than 230,000 women were admitted to Brazilian hospitals in 2008 for complications from illegal abortions, the Health Ministry said earlier this year. EFE