Florida plastic surgeon charged in wife’s death after fatal overdose on his operating table

A Florida surgeon is facing up to life in prison if convicted of second-degree homicide in the death of his wife after he refused to call 911 when he gave her a fatal overdose of drugs.

Benjamin Jacob Brown, a 41-year-old Georgetown-educated plastic surgeon, was arrested on Monday following the death of his wife, Hillary Ellington Brown, who had a seizure during a cosmetic procedure he was performing on her at his office, Restore Plastic Surgery.

“The Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office arrested Brown for second-degree felony homicide: manslaughter by culpable negligence. He is currently being held in the Santa Rosa County Jail pending first appearance where a bond will be determined by a judge and State Attorney’s Office,” according to the Pensacola News Journal.

(Video Credit: Inside Edition)

Brown turned himself in and was booked into the Santa Rosa County Jail.

He allegedly waited 10 to 20 minutes before calling 911 after his wife became unresponsive during the procedure in which he reportedly administered a toxic amount of medication and failed to have proper equipment on hand.

According to the Pensacola News Journal:

The state found that on Nov. 21, 2023, Hillary Brown was undergoing a miniature muscle plication/abdominal scar revision, bilateral arm liposuction, lip injection and ear adjustment procedures when she showed signs of lidocaine toxicity.

The state said Hillary, who is not a licensed medical professional, was allowed to prepare and take her own anesthesia solution prior to the procedures Brown performed on her and that she showed signs of lidocaine toxicity during the surgery before she became unresponsive, but Brown continued to administer lidocaine and operate on her.

The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office noted that the victim had even sewed up her own abdominal incision.

Though she was rushed to the Ascension Sacred Heart Emergency Care Department in Pensacola after her husband relented and had staff call 911, Hillary died after a week on life support. Her cause of death was from “complications following lidocaine toxicity,” according to a medical examiner’s report.

“We need prayers for a miracle. Hillary had a cardiac arrest on Tuesday afternoon. We called 911 and started CPR. Her heart came back but her brain is not doing well,” Brown posted on social media on Nov. 24.

But Marty Ellington blames the Gulf Breeze surgeon for the death of his daughter who had three children from a previous marriage.

“My family lives in a sea of tears for eternity due to the actions of one careless individual,” Ellington said, according to the news outlet. “His ego and arrogance overshadowed the need for help, prolonging oxygen deprivation to her brain and ultimately causing her death. Ben Brown took the mother from my grandchildren, my only daughter and our brightest star. Hillary gave the ultimate sacrifice so Ben Brown cannot hurt anyone else. Maybe in prison, he will get the attention he deserves.”

In May, the Florida Department of Health issued an emergency order to restrict Brown’s license though many felt that was not enough.

“The level of disregard Dr. Brown paid to patient safety, even when the patient was his wife, indicates that Dr. Brown is unwilling or incapable of providing the appropriate level of care to his future patients,” read the order from the Florida Department of Health.

Frieda Powers

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