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Archive for Saturday, February 2, 2008

Judge orders Tiller to immediately turn over patient records

February 2, 2008

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— Abortion provider Dr. George Tiller must turn over thousands of patients' files to a grand jury while his attorneys take the legal battle over the medical records to the state's highest court, a Sedgwick County judge ruled Friday.

The edited patient records won't have the women's names, but they will have patient-identification numbers. Tiller's attorneys claimed that in an earlier case, former Attorney General Phill Kline was able to track down patients' names using the identifying numbers on patients' files.

As part of his investigation into Tiller's clinic, Kline had obtained redacted records from 60 of the doctor's patients. Kline eventually filed 30 misdemeanor charges against Tiller before leaving office last year, only to see the case dismissed for jurisdictional reasons.

Laura Shaneyfelt, one of the doctor's attorneys, told Sedgwick County Judge Paul Buchanan on Friday that if Kline could use that information to identify patients, then someone else could as well. Buchanan is overseeing the grand jury's investigation into Tiller's clinic and had ordered the doctor to comply with three grand jury subpoenas seeking 2,000 patient records and the names of current and former employees and referring physicians.

"This is the kind of abuse we know can happen, we have seen happen, and these women are terrified will happen," Shaneyfelt said.

Shaneyfelt said Kline cross-referenced patient file numbers with abortion records at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, then subpoenaed records from Wichita's La Quinta Inn, where patients were staying, to match dates with names.

After the hearing, Brian Burgess, a spokesman for Kline, who is now Johnson County district attorney, disputed Shaneyfelt's account.

"No patients have ever been identified," Burgess said.

He declined further comment, citing a related case now under seal before the Kansas Supreme Court.

Although he wouldn't say what case he was citing, Kline and Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, which operates an abortion clinic in Overland Park, are embroiled in a lawsuit that remains under seal. Neither Kline nor Planned Parenthood have discussed the case, but Kline also obtained records from Planned Parenthood while he was attorney general.

Tiller's attorneys on Friday also asked the Kansas Supreme Court to prevent Tiller from having to turn over the records while the justices decide whether to quash the grand jury's subpoenas. However, barring a quick ruling from the high court, Tiller was supposed to start handing over records Friday.

Tiller attorney Dan Monnat told reporters that the doctor's lawyers found out Kline had been able to obtain the patient names when discovery material was turned over to Tiller in a criminal case filed by Paul Morrison, who replaced Kline as attorney general but has since resigned over a sex scandal. That case against Tiller is still pending.

The grand jury is seeking all health care records of patients who aborted a fetus determined to be 22 weeks or older from July 1, 2003, through Jan. 18 at Tiller's clinic, Women's Health Care Services.

Another subpoena seeks all health care records of each patient who was at least 22 weeks pregnant when she consulted with a physician at the clinic but did not have an abortion.

The grand jury also wants information about past and current employees and patients' referring physicians.

Buchanan on Friday ordered attorneys to comply with all the subpoenas, turning aside arguments that the subpoenas violate the privacy rights of women seeking abortions.

Deputy Sedgwick County District Attorney Ann Swegle told Buchanan she opposed any delays, noting the grand jury is convened for a limited time.

The judge was unmoved by arguments from Tiller's attorneys that employees and doctors would be targeted by abortion protesters if their names were given to the grand jury and later leaked.

Comments

Crossfire 6 years, 11 months ago

Obviously Klline has this Judge in his pocket. Tiller needs to hire Morrison. Guest star in this episode Wonder Woman.

blakus 6 years, 11 months ago

so enforcer, you would rather have women who choose to have an abortion go through someone who is not liscensed and has no credibility? Didn't you read that abortions are occuring at the lowest rate in 30 years?? That is without closing Tiller's practice. Of course the same people that attack Tiller probably attack the contraceptives that women and men are using now adays to prevent unwanted pregnancy...

dirkleisure 6 years, 11 months ago

Kathy, perhaps you failed to notice that former AG Phill Kline had taken the medical records he received from Tiller and cross referenced them with hotel records he subpoenaed from a Wichita hotel.

He also demanded the phone records, home addresses, and home phone numbers from that hotel.

How would you like to receive a phone call from the Attorney General of Kansas questioning your legal abortion at Dr. Tiller's clinic?

Woman's privacy, indeed. If former AG Kline or any of his zealous defenders try to say to you there was no violation of privacy in his quest for private medical records, it is now obvious they are lying. Much like spokesman Brian Burgess lied to this AP reporter.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 11 months ago

There will never be a call like that Agnostik because such a call did not happen. All of us in the pro-life movement want the simply the Kansas law to be enforced. Using the La Quinta Inn as a facility to complete the abortion process is completely unacceptable and should be brought to light! When that light shines the rats run!

Godot 6 years, 11 months ago

I hope many of Tiller supporters watched "In the womb" on netgeo tonight.

ThatGirl2 6 years, 11 months ago

blakus (Anonymous) says:

so enforcer, you would rather have women who choose to have an abortion go through someone who is not liscensed and has no credibility?


Yes, she would. Please see the other thread where she stated that women who chose to have an abortion (if made illegal) should be "left to bleed to death from the hanger."

She's a real gem, that Kathy.

ThatGirl2 6 years, 10 months ago

americorps (Anonymous) says:

Thatgirl, she is a fraud, and trash.

That is the understatement of the year. You can also add drug abuser, adultress, attempted bank robber, stalker, and general nut job to the list.

Ralph Reed 6 years, 10 months ago

enforcer (Kathy Gragg) writes: "Yes let them die from coat hanger."

in response to blakus (Anonymous) says: "so enforcer, you would rather have women who choose to have an abortion go through someone who is not liscensed and has no credibility?"

and

ThatGirl2 (Anonymous) "Yes, she would. Please see the other thread where she stated that women who chose to have an abortion (if made illegal) should be "left to bleed to death from the hanger."


Kathy, That comment just cost you any and all credibility you once had. It will be a long time before I again trust what you say.

satchel 6 years, 10 months ago

This has nothing to do with Kline or his views on abortion.

Tiller broke some laws. One in which he and other doctors DIDN'T REPORT GIRLS WHO WERE MOLESTED; Girls who were underage and pregnant.

Tiller and doctors in general are REQUIRED BY LAW to report these things and they didn't. So Morrison thinks that it is o.k. for pedophiles to rape underage girls. It is a crime to have sex with an underage girl in case you didn't know.

Tiller was breaking the law again when he gave late term abortions, i.e. partial birth abortions to women who didn't fit the qualification of 'medical necessity'. Plain and simple, Tiller broke the law and so does Planned Parenthood and Kline is one of the most courageous men I know.

I know, it is hard for the pro choicers to take off their emotional-religious hats and think for a while as to what is really going on here.

Don't worry, your freedom of choice won't be taken away by this. Hopefully, this will end up putting Tiller behind bars and maybe when women want to go in and excersize their freedom to take away the freedom of choice from their child they will get a more responsible murderer.

staff04 6 years, 10 months ago

"Tiller broke some laws. One in which he and other doctors didn't report girls who were molested; Girls who were underage and pregnant."

You make a bold assumption that any of these "underage" girls were impregnated within the state of KS...

Are you willing to consider that perhaps none of them were, therefore not subject to the laws of this fine state?

I didn't think so...continue with your agenda now.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

Agnostik-- you need to check out the procedure that you are defending. The drug digoxin is injected in the the heart of a late-term fetus (baby) in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and even ninth month. The process involves several days and in some cases the delivery of a dead baby at the motel is involved. This is why the La Quinta Inn upon learning what was going on no longer allowed Tiller to use their facility for what is clearly part of a medical procedure. The bottom line is this is killing a baby. Something our Judeo/Christian tradition stands against. How modern people can justify this kind of violence is beyond me.

ksdivakat 6 years, 10 months ago

ok common people.......La Quinta Inn?? La Quinta Inn?? La Quinta Inn???? Does it REALLY take arocket scientist to figure out that this is just wrong!!! Who in the heck in their right mind, goes to get an abortion at a motel?????????!!!!!!!!! That is straight out of hollywood! So my question is this......If this was so legal, why were they done at a no-tell motel?? Secretly and underhanded???

TheOriginalCA 6 years, 10 months ago

Just because shutting down a quack like Tiller does not mean that women will be forced into backyard baby killing clinics. There are plenty of places available to legally kill a baby that won't hurt the female host at all.

ksdivakat 6 years, 10 months ago

Ag....reread my post and I answered that question. If the abortions were done or even if the recovery time was done at a hotel then its because they are doing something illegal and underhanded.....doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure that one out!

a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 10 months ago

ksdivakat says, "or even if the recovery time was done at a hotel then its because they are doing something illegal and underhanded"

That's quite a stretch. I guess we should remember that if anyone ever has to travel to get a medical procedure done and ends up pending the night in a hotel the day before or after the procedure. And from what others have said, it can't be private, so you must announce said procedure and timing via press release and turn over all receipts, etc. to the AG of the state where the procedure was done or if you were under any kind of therapy or medications during your hotel stay.

Tell me what's not wrong with that picture!

a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 10 months ago

R_T says, "A user who has the time and desire to dig up dirt using another users' real name and susequently continually harass and badger that user who has bravely chosen to reveal thier identity should be banned by LJW."

Agreed. Keep in mind, though, that through past LJW posts and crosslinking to other sites, some individuals produce information about themselves that is plain to see.

tvc 6 years, 10 months ago

Maybe people that live in glass (abusive) homes should not cast stones about other women's decisions.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 10 months ago

R_T says, "user who has bravely chosen to reveal thier identity"

Ummm, if we're talking about the same user, brave is not the word I would use to describe them. But, then, that's probably why we usually end up on opposite sides of issues, R_T.

ksdivakat 6 years, 10 months ago

a_flock_of_jayhawks ...........you are certainly entitled to your opineion as I am mine......traveling to have your cancer treated is one thing, traveling to receive an illegal abortion is quite another! Why were the patients staying in a hotel when the clinic is right there in Wichita?? Humm.....why would the hotel "stop" the behavior if nothing underhanded were going on??

a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 10 months ago

ksdivakat says, "Why were the patients staying in a hotel when the clinic is right there in Wichita?? Humm:..why would the hotel "stop" the behavior if nothing underhanded were going on??"

Q1. Cause it is a clinic practicing outpatient procedures, maybe?

Q2. Because, for some reason, they did not want to be associated with it and bring the zany Op Rescue boycotts, etc.?

IMHO, the hotel was wrong to do that, but they do reserve the right to refuse service, I suppose.

ksdivakat 6 years, 10 months ago

Q1. Cause it is a clinic practicing outpatient procedures, maybe?

Thank you for winning my argument for me! That was my point! If nothing illegal was done then turn over the frickin records so a court can decide! Nothing is going to happen one way or another until a court has a chance to look at the records and make a determination....so if theres nothing to hide....turn them over, simple as that.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 10 months ago

ksdivakat says, "traveling to have your cancer treated is one thing, traveling to receive an illegal abortion is quite another!"

First off, you are assuming that the abortion was/is illegal. If it is not, then exactly how would they be different?

a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 10 months ago

ksdivakat says, "Thank you for winning my argument for me! That was my point! If nothing illegal was done then turn over the frickin records so a court can decide! Nothing is going to happen one way or another until a court has a chance to look at the records and make a determination:.so if theres nothing to hide:.turn them over, simple as that."

Ummm, I didn't make your point. If they stayed at a hotel, what records would the clinic have. Besides, by your logic, we should just have the police rummage through your house to see if they can find any evidence that any kind of crime, large or small, was committed. If you don't have anything to hide, the I suppose you won't mind the little intrusion.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 10 months ago

Ag says, "Could also be that ORW folks left little notes on the windshields of cars parked there overnight."

I can personally attest to those tactics. The USMCR center is (or used to be) located on El Monte in OP. I was showing up to report and they blocked my vehicle, I guess thinking that I was somehow involved with the clinic.

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