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Friday, August 4, 2006

Crime in any language

FRAMINGHAM

The Middlesex District Attorney and the Framingham Police Department have set up a bilingual tip line to help collect leads from the Brazilian community about illegal medical procedures.

The tip line, 508-872-1212, ext. 444, has an outgoing message in English and Portuguese and callers can leave a tip in either language anonymously.

“It is very important for any individuals who have undergone medical procedures at the hands of an unlicensed individual to seek appropriate medical treatment by a licensed provider, as they may be at risk for infection or other harmful health problems,” District Attorney Martha Coakley said in a press release issued today.

She said the people who had undergone the procedures from unlicensed practitioners would not be prosecuted.

Authorities encourage anyone considering a medical procedure, to check out their doctor before getting treatment via the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine.

The tip line was set up in response to the July 30 death of Fabiola B. DePaula, 24, of Framingham. She died after an illegal medical procedure (liposuction, according to her family) performed by a Brazilian couple who were charged with several offenses including the unauthorized practice of medicine.

–- Lisa Kocian

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