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Legal Examiner

A South American doctor may face jail time as punishment for a medical malpractice after a complaint was filed against the cosmetic surgeon and his clinic involving the wrongful death of a young beauty queen.

Crowned the “Queen of Duran” in October 2014, Catherine Cando Cornejo died during abdominal liposuction at the Guayaquil clinic in January 2015.

The 19-year-old Ecuador woman was awarded a $1,000 coupon for surgery at the clinic as part of her prize for winning the beauty pageant.

The victim’s sister told The New Zealand Herald that Catherine did not want surgery, but was pressured by the insistent doctor who was also a judge in the pageant. “My sister did not want the operation because she was afraid, but the doctor insisted on several occasions.”

The defense lawyer claims the patient died as a result of cardiac arrest, but the family’s lawyer argues that cerebral adema due to problems with anesthesia lead to the wrongful death of the patient, according to the New Zealand Herald.

A medical malpractice lawsuit was filed against the surgeon, but an arrest has not been made. In Ecuador, medical professionals found guilty of medical malpractice are subject to one to three years in prison.