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Small-town doctor under fire over baby's death at hospital

Snow swirled thickly outside when 3-day-old Conor Shamus McInnerney, snuggling at his mother's breast, suddenly stopped breathing and went still.

Thirty-nine minutes after his frantic parents summoned paramedics on the night of Jan. 12, emergency room doctors had the baby's heart pumping again. But he still lay limply on the table, his pupils fixed and dilated. After going so long with no detectable pulse, his chances for survival were considered "dismal," according to a subsequent report by the hospital executive committee.The parents agreed to halt life-support, and Conor was pronounced dead in their arms moments later, at 9:54 p.m.

Martin and Michelle McInnerney tearfully departed Olympic Memorial Hospital, along with Dr. Eugene Turner, the baby's pediatrician who had overseen the emergency room heroics.

But half an hour later, a nurse returning to the ER found the infant gasping on a hospital cart, his skin turning pink.

Turner hastened back but told a nurse not to call the McInnerneys. Working with another emergency room doctor and then on his own, Turner spent close to two hours more trying to revive the infant.

But what he did then confounded nurses and put him under scrutiny by local police and state medical authorities, with the parents considering a lawsuit. According to reports, Turner declared the baby brain-dead, then "manually obstructed the airway of the child." A nurse described the doctor "plugging off the infant's nose."