Archive for Friday, June 22, 2012

Kansas revokes doctor’s license in abortion case

June 22, 2012


— Kansas regulators on Friday revoked the medical license of a doctor accused of performing inadequate mental health exams on young patients she then referred to the late Dr. George Tiller for late-term abortions.

The State Board of Healing Arts ratified an administrative judge's earlier decision to strip Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus of her license. Neuhaus provided second opinions that Tiller needed under Kansas law to perform some late-term abortions at his Wichita clinic. Tiller, one of a few U.S. physicians known to perform abortions in the final weeks of pregnancy, was shot to death in May 2009 by a man professing strong anti-abortion views.

The administrative judge concluded in February that Neuhaus performed inadequate mental health exams in 2003 on 11 patients, aged 10 to 18. The judge said Neuhaus' records didn't contain the information necessary to show that she did thorough exams, and the patients' care was "seriously jeopardized."

"Her actions clearly show a disregard for her patients' safety and care, which causes her to be a threat to any future patients she might have," said Reese Hays, the attorney on the board's litigation team who presented the case against Neuhaus.

Neuhaus has argued that her exams met accepted standards of care, and some abortion rights supporters questioned whether she could receive a fair hearing from the board, with Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, a strong abortion opponent, in office for almost 18 months. Neuhaus said she'll ask the state's courts to overturn the board's decision.

"It's all about abortion rights, absolutely," she said after the board's decision. "If this wasn't in the Bible Belt, I think this wouldn't even be happening."

Abortion opponents have been a force in the Republican Party in GOP-leaning Kansas for two decades and have solid legislative majorities. Since Brownback took office in January 2011, the state has imposed tighter restrictions on abortion, written special health and safety rules for abortion providers and limited private health insurance coverage for elective abortions.

Neuhaus, who is from Nortonville, a small town about 30 miles north of Lawrence, has an inactive medical license that allows her to provide limited charity care, but she had asked the board to reinstate her to a full, active license. The revocation will formally take effect when the board puts its decision in writing and delivers a copy to Neuhaus, possibly next week.

The board discussed her case in closed sessions for about 30 minutes before reconvening to formally revoke her license as Neuhaus and her attorneys watched. Sitting behind her was Troy Newman, president of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, which pursued a complaint against her.

The case centered on how Neuhaus concluded that each of the 11 patients had serious mental health issues and that an abortion was advisable. The law required Tiller to obtain an independent second opinion that a patient faced significant and permanent harm if the pregnancy continued. Neuhaus provided such assessments for Tiller from 1999 to 2006.

Neuhaus' reports for him, compiled with a "PsychManager Lite" computer program, were five pages or less and don't cite details from patients' statements or data gleaned from her exams.

The administrative judge said that in some cases, the young patients were described as suicidal, but Neuhaus didn't recommend further treatment. The judge said Neuhaus simply "answered yes/no questions" using the computer program and assigned whatever diagnosis "the computer gave."

Neuhaus strongly disputes the judge's characterization of how she used the program and testified during a hearing that she sometimes refused to allow abortions to go forward.

She also testified that she didn't put more details in her records to protect patients' privacy. After the hearing, she said she was "unapologetic" for that, noting the Kansas attorney general's office began investigating abortion providers, including Tiller, starting early in 2003, and in 2006, Fox television's Bill O'Reilly strongly criticized Tiller and discussed a few of his patients' cases on his program.

The case stemmed from a 2006 complaint by Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy adviser for Operation Rescue. The anti-abortion group Kansans for Life also had scrutinized Neuhaus for years and raised questions about her activities. Newman said after the hearing that the board's decision "was justified, and this is only on 11 records, not on the countless others she did the exact same thing for."

Neuhaus had performed abortions in Wichita and Lawrence but stopped in 2002. When she provided second opinions for Tiller, Kansas law restricted abortions at or after the 22nd week of pregnancy if the fetus was viable. In those cases, pregnancies could be terminated only if the patient faced death or "substantial and irreversible" harm to "a major bodily function," including mental health. Legislators tightened the law last year so that it no longer includes the mental health exception.

Tiller once faced misdemeanor criminal charges that alleged, in relying on Neuhaus for referrals, that he wasn't getting the independent second medical opinion required by state law. He was acquitted two months before his murder, but at the time of his death, a separate complaint was pending before the Board of Healing Arts.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

Basically, this was a message from the anti-abortionists to any doctors who perform abortions, or participate in the process-- if we can't find someone to murder you, we'll run you out of your profession.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 11 months ago

I think this is a good idea as I see no justification for killing a healthy baby. I would hope that whoever got a ten year old pregnant was punished. In my opinion, ideally, young girls under eighteen would have a secluded place to retreat to during the pregnancy where they would be taken care of physically and mentally. I can see this as being very tough on the girl and I can see her needing a lot of support to get her though it. This way she would not have to deal with stares and whispers and her school work could continue with on site tutors so that she could return to school at a proper level. The baby would be adopted out with all parental rights severed and the records sealed. The girls would continue to receive the physical and mental health care they needed after a return to home. Their families should be a part of this and I would hope they would love and support their daughter and do everything they can to make her return as safe as possible.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

Forcing a 10-year-old to carry a pregnancy to term is just plain sick.

Liberty275 5 years, 11 months ago

Is that your professional opinion, doctor?

chalice2 5 years, 11 months ago

Why would you make a ten year old endure a pregnancy and delivery?

Mike1949 5 years, 11 months ago

Because here in Kansas, we have a lot of sick people, and I mean sick in the head. Why do you think we are known as backwards, country bunkins world wide. Like one person said, if they can't kill the doctors, they will make life miserable for doctors in the hopes no one will try to practice. Some people like the control of the Dark Ages. As the Catholic Church, they got off on that control for a lot of years. Today it is the bible thumpers!

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

Never mind that the pregnancy of a 10 year old is very dangerous to her physical health. Let the girls suffer through 9 months of the rape. Real nice of you.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 11 months ago

Frankie, ideally 10 year old girls wouldn't get pregnant. The reality is that girls and young women do get pregnant. Often, such pregnancies result from criminal acts such as rape and incest. Also, these same "moral crusaders" oppose sex Ed in schools and most recently even birth control for married couples.

I dont think the government has the right under the US constitution as expressed in the Roe v. Wade decision to restrict access to abortion. This is a civil rights issue for girls and women. Like it or not fetuses are not people and therefore have no rights. In our culture, life begins with birth. That is why we celebrate birthdays, not conception days.

verity 5 years, 11 months ago

I find Frankie8's comment deeply disturbing on so many levels.

First of all, pregnancy and birth is hard on any woman's body, but especially for an immature girl it is very dangerous and can cause permanent damage. To force a child to carry a pregnancy and go through birth is beyond sadistic and, in my opinion, a second rape.

Then to force her to give up the baby for adoption is a third rape and to have parental rights severed and records sealed is a fourth. If she chooses to carry out the pregnancy, it is not the law's business, or ours, what she does as far as her baby is concerned.

As far as that family support---if it was the father, step-father, or another family member who raped the child in the first place, and the mother may have been complicit in it in some way---and from the situations I know about, that often is the case---there's going to be the opposite of emotional support.

This whole scenario forces the child to hide and to carry out a lie, which is another emotional liability. And you really think people are not going wonder why she disappeared for a number of months? That's been going on for a long time and people will always question and talk---more so if it's supposedly hidden.

I was not going to comment on this, but that scenario is such a combination of abuse to a child and unrealism that I felt it necessary to say something.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm sorry, no 10 year old should be forced to carry an infant to term. A 10 year old is still very much a child herself. She's probably only just started her cycles (frankly, I'm worried that girls are starting so young now). Whether it was a rape or kids playing around when they shouldn't have, that doesn't matter when the mother is so young. In the 21st century, a child should not have to give birth to another child. A doctor who approves that abortion is right to do so. The mental damage would be catastrophic. A 10 year old doesn't need to be changing diapers or filling bottles unless it's for a younger sibling or learning to babysit. Ten year olds should go to school and enjoy being kids. Even most girls in their teens and twenties aren't ready to be mothers.

woodscolt 5 years, 11 months ago

Oh, brilliant, just kidnap these girls and incarcerate them for the term of the pregnancy. What about their life? Don't even consider that. Just put them in moth balls, they eren't doing anything anyway. idiot.

Patricia Davis 5 years, 11 months ago

And what is the girl's father was the father of the baby? It happens.

Centerville 5 years, 11 months ago

No one was charged with statutory rape. Didn't you get the memo from Sibelius that these were all "Romeo and Juliet". And, therefore, perfectly reasonable that a 10-year-old would have a partial birth abortion, hand over the $5,000, and be returned, no questions asked, to her 'boyfriend'.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 11 months ago

What are you talking about? Your post is incomprehensible.

pace 5 years, 11 months ago

Your post is false information. The issue is important, you should respect the reality of the issues, not to just pour emotional garbage on the argument.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

This is the flip side of the doctors lying to patients bill. Here, we have a rubber stamp medical practitioner. Both are abhorrent.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

There you go, always looking for that happy, or unhappy, medium, even when there is none.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

Are you suggesting that one or both of those practices is not abhorrent?

notajayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

The issue is not whether she was appropriately licensed or qualified to make the diagnoses. The issue is whether she performed an adequate examination of the patients to support the diagnoses she made.

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

Funny how they thought she did back when Dr Tiller was on trial for the very same thing.

notajayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

My memory might be faulty, but I believe the basis of the charges back then was that the law requires a second opinion from a physician that is not financially related to the primary physician, and there was a question as to whether Tiller and Neuhaus met that requirement. It was also a criminal case, not an action taken by the licensing board. I'm not aware of any time when the licensing board considered these same allegations against Neuhaus, and would be VERY surprised if they had found such practices acceptible in the past.

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

The licensing board, which is made up of political appointees, one of whom currently comes from the known terrorist group Operation Rescue. They were simply on a witch hunt to punish abortion doctors.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

You're free to believe that if you wish. The licensing board exists to protect the citizens of the state from professional incompetence, and if anyone was playing politics here, it was Dr. Neuhaus, who thought she should have some special dispensation from having to follow the same rules as any other practitioner in this country.

chootspa 5 years, 10 months ago

That may be the purpose of the licensing board, just as the purpose of the Supreme Court is allegedly constitutional interpretation, but that doesn't mean that politics don't come into play when appointing people to it.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

You simply don't get it, do you? SHE BROKE THE LAW, and violated her professional ethics and the standards of care. Regardless of whether the initial complaint was politically motivated, SHE didn't do what she was LEGALLY obligated to do.

chootspa 5 years, 10 months ago

No, I think that it is you who didn't get it, but that's ok. I don't expect you to. I perused your posting history, and it seems you're an arguer who likes the last word unless you're taking a year off. Yeah, that'll mix well.

The complaint originated from a known terrorist, and a BHA appointee lawyer affiliated with the same group as this known and convicted terrorist decided that he was most concerned with followup care. The followup care was that these girls - all of them under 18 - got an abortion and had followup care from Dr. Tiller, who was known for his extreme sensitivity and attention to details in these cases. Therefore, the only thing he was really concerned about is that they got abortions. The "expert" testifying against her said that abortion was not an appropriate treatment for any condition. Including being 10 and pregnant from your uncle. They basically disputed that a pregnancy ever created "substantial and irreversible” damage to physical or mental health. She could have written hundreds of pages, and they would have picked through her records to find out why they thought she made the wrong trial. She was never going to get a fair trial.

Did she have a valid reason to stick to just the yes or no answers printed out from the diagnostic program? Why certainly, she did. All 11 cases were of minors. Some involved incest and rapes, and her records DID end up in the hands of anti-abortionists.

If she wins her appeal, will that magically make you believe she didn't break the law? Yeah, didn't think so.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

Takes two to argue. The difference is I work in the field, know the laws, and know what I'm talking about. Your own qualifications to decide what she did was legitimate or not are - what, again? Yeah, thought so.

Again, since this just doesn't seem to be sinking in: WHETHER OR NOT THE ABORTIONS WERE WARRANTED, DR NEUHAUS DID NOT DOCUMENT A THOROUGH ASSESSMENT TO JUSTIFY HER DIAGNOSIS. That is the ONLY issue at stake here, and there is NO legal or professional justification for her not doing so.

chootspa 5 years, 10 months ago

Oh, I see. You also provide second opinions for abortion providers in a very narrow scope of practice for a law no longer even on the books. Got it. You have exact expertise in exactly this circumstance and aren't at all generalizing for a different but tangentially related practice.

You still didn't answer the question. She wins on appeal, you gonna change your mind about whether or not she broke the law? If not, we're both just kibitzing with opinions and interpretations now, aren't we?

PS - I'd have a very different opinion on the issue if I had even a scrap of belief that she got a fair trial or would ever get a fair trial.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

You really are incapable of grasping this, aren't you? IT DOESN'T MATTER IF THESE DIAGNOSES WERE PROVIDED FOR THE PURPOSE OF ABORTION OR NOT. There are standards of care that have to be followed when a physician or other practitioner assigns a diagnosis for a mental health issue or a headache. THE "EXACT CIRCUMSTANCES" ARE IRRELEVANT. Maybe YOU'RE just kibbitzing, but thankfully I AM aware of the statutes, regulations, standards of care, and ethics codes that regulate the assignment of a diagnosis to a patient and the record keeping requirements for doing so.

friendlyjhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Abortion should be made available legally and medically safe to any woman who wants one, when they want it. I agree. This is always an emotional issue especially to men since it is a personal affront to men because even today a woman having control of her body is a threat to a man and his omnipotence. Woman want control of their body, men want control of everything!

woodscolt 5 years, 11 months ago

Right wing wacko criminal republicans war on women continues. they will get their comeuppance.

woodscolt 5 years, 11 months ago

right pku, trampling womens rights just gets a sigh from you. Ho hum, its just women.

Bob Harvey 5 years, 11 months ago

Ok two questions. The first. Regardless of how folks feel or believe there is the issue of the law and regulations of the Board of Healing Arts. If the doctor did not follow both of those issues, and indeed did not perform the exams she was required to perform then I have a problem. This has nothing to do with abortion or a woman's right to choose. If a physician did not perform his/her duties as prescribed then that is wrong. From reading the article it seems as it was her responsibile to conducting mental health evaluations on those women making a very difficult decision. If the physician did not do that then she was wrong and went against the Board she was required to follow.

Secondly, and probably more important. Why must the folks of Lawrence always make the issue of abortion a political party issue. The "Right" is called all sort of vile names with sophmoric glee. Can those who proclaim this witchhunt of the right honestly tell me that they know it to be true that not one Democrat or Liberal has a problem with abortion?

Before I become the next witch to be burned in the rhetoric of the Lawrence blogs please know that I support a woman's right to choose. I am also one who would say, I wish abortions did not happen, but I understand it is not my right to decide what is right for another.

Liberty275 5 years, 11 months ago

"Before I become the next witch to be burned in the rhetoric of the Lawrence blogs"

Martyrs... You gotta love em. :-)

Katara 5 years, 11 months ago

You only get burned if you weigh the same as a duck.

Liberty275 5 years, 10 months ago

You can tell if something weighs the same as a duck because it will float.

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

You know, if the Board of Healing Arts weren't subject to such grand politicization over a single issue, you might have a point. Instead, a complaint made by an Operation Rescue convicted felon terrorist (conspiracy to bomb a clinic) gets to trial six years later over something that supposedly happened nine years ago. These charges stem from the same accusation this convicted domestic terrorist from Operation Rescue made against Tiller, and yet under a different governor, he was found to have had adequate second opinions. Brownback appointed an Operation Rescue lawyer to the BHA, and gosh, surprise surprise, they decide that those second opinions, legally adequate for Tiller, were not legally adequate for her. Because she didn't write down lots of notes in the files when she did the exams and instead kept them minimal for privacy reasons and didn't refer the patients to after care when her job was, from my understanding, to give a second opinion and not primary care. Gee, why would we think this was a political witch hunt?

notajayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

"and didn't refer the patients to after care"

What we're talking about here is not referring SUICIDAL patients to follow-up care. And whether she claims it was for 'privacy' reasons or not, practitioners don't get to decide whether or not to withhold pertinent information from a medical record. Given that she admitted she did so deliberately, she's very lucky she isn't also facing felony charges.

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

Suicidal patients who already had a primary physician. Once who offered above and beyond after care services, Connecticut. I realize that you're not from around here, so maybe all you have to go by is the angry yowling from a terrorist group based in Wichita, but Dr. Tiller was one of the most sensitive and caring doctors out there and thought of all the details - emotional and spiritual. You better believe that ten year old didn't leave the clinic without some serious after care, and neither did any of the other suicidal patients.

The records admitted into evidence for this case were likely stolen by Kline on what turned out to be an illegal fishing expedition. When she says she kept minimal records to protect the privacy of the patients, she meant it. This is the environment in which she worked. Dr. Tiller had already faced assassination attempts at that point, and when she's protecting her patient's privacy, she was protecting them from death threats, from public humiliation, and worse. She was doing her job, and she was doing it well.

She's not facing felony charges because she abided by the law.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

You make a lot of assumptions, which might be why your posts are so full of errors. I attended the University of Connecticut a long time ago, but I live here in Douglas County; I've lived in this area for over 20 years. I am a licensed mental health provider myself, and have worked with scores of psychiatrists and other physicians who ALL agree what she did was cause for revocation.

By the way, just what makes you asume these patients all "already had a primary physician"? Whether they did or not, it is absolutely unconscionable and completely unacceptable to allow a patient declared suicidal out of your office without at the least a referral for followup; if they're actively suicidal, you can't let them go at all, you have an obligation to call the police and/or an ambulance and have them taken to an emergency room. YOU believe what you want about whether Neuhaus (yes, Neuhaus, not the "sensitive and caring" Tiller) made provisions for "some serious aftercare". If she did, it should have been documented. Ask ANY practitoner ANYWHERE in this country: If it wasn't documented, then it didn't happen.

Whether the initial complaint was a result of leaked medical records or not, the licensing board has the legal right to review those records. A provider does NOT have that option, to omit pertinent information from the record "to protect the privacy of the patients". It's against the law, and if you had even the slightest understanding of the medical profession you'd understand why.

It is a felony anywhere in this country to falsify medical records. She testified that she deliberately omitted pertinent information from the records, which IS falsifying them.

chootspa 5 years, 10 months ago

Assumption on my part, yes, but an assumption you're perpetuating with the user name and icon. Thanks for the clarification.

What makes me think that they already had primary care is that they already had primary care in order to see her. They couldn't get an appointment with her without a referral from Dr. Tiller. The referral she gave was back to Dr. Tiller. She wasn't seeing other patients at the time.

Like I said, if I thought she could in any way get a fair trial, I'd have a different opinion on the matter. I certainly have a different opinion about the doctor who got caught dumping records in a dumpster instead of burning or shredding them.

From what I can see in my non lawyerly fashion, "adequate" record keeping for the statute is largely a matter of opinion and interpretation. I've looked over the law, and as far as I can tell, the second physician did not have the same obligations for extended documentation that the first physician did.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

"but an assumption you're perpetuating with the user name and icon"

Um, wow. Just wow. And I'm supposed to assume what about YOU using that method, that I'm arguing with Dr. Evil or Mike Myers? Or that you're Jewish but can't spell?

"What makes me think that they already had primary care is that they already had primary care in order to see her. They couldn't get an appointment with her without a referral from Dr. Tiller."

You don't even know what a primary care physician is??? Why am I wasting my time on you? Dr. Tiller was not their PCP, he was a specialist. A PCP is your own physician, generally a family practice specialist or internist, that coordinates all your medical care.

"From what I can see in my non lawyerly fashion, "adequate" record keeping for the statute is largely a matter of opinion and interpretation. "

No, it's not. The only documentation the former Dr. Neuhaus provided to support her diagnoses were the printouts from the computer program, and the program's documentation clearly states it is not to be used to diagnose without a full examination and history gathering.

All of this is academic - if a family member of yours told her doctor that he or she was usicidal, you'd be okay with that doctor taking no action other than saying "Make an appointment with your PCP as soon as you can?" Seriously?

chootspa 5 years, 10 months ago

You're supposed to assume I made an ID during the GOP primaries to mock Bachman's pronunciation. But I've rotated the icon, since everyone who saw the first one assumed I was a girl. Maybe they didn't recognize Bachman or didn't catch the silliness. I like Dr. Evil. Give me one MILLION dollars!

Yes, I do know what a primary care physician is, thank you. You're wasting your time for reasons that are your own, but I certainly feel powerful for having monopolized your time with an argument that solves nothing. Go me. I was sloppy in my wordage, and that muddled the intents of my communications. Primary as in fundamental. One specialist was primarily in charge of care. The details were seen to by Dr. Tiller. The image of you banging your head against the wall just then was amusing. Perhaps that could be your next user icon, Connecticut.

She was only there to render a second opinion as mandated by law. She wasn't there to offer care or services. I cannot find any section of the law mandating that she do anything other than refer patients back to Dr. Tiller. He, on the other hand, had quite a bit of mandated documentation. The law did not, as far as I can tell, mandate she offer aftercare services, refer them to different specialists, etc. You opine that her documentation was inadequate. Perhaps it was. She said she knew it was sparse, and it's certainly less than you, as a specialist, woud have documented. I see nothing in the particular statute as written demanding that it be more detailed. The onus seemed to be on Dr. Tiller to provide the detailed documentation.

Your hypothetical situation doesn't apply here. I don't have a pregnant 10 year old family member traveling from out of state and seeking a second opinion on whether or not birthing would do her permanent psychological harm.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

A simple "I have no idea what I'm talking about" would have been quite sufficient, and saved you a lot of typing. Thank you for once again reaffirming that you have no knowledge or understanding of the medical professions or the issue at hand here.

chootspa 5 years, 10 months ago

Thank you for taking the time to calmly discuss and clarify the issue in a professional manner after I spent the time to genuinely understand your points and lookup the law in question. I feel confident and willing to change my opinion based on the new information you still haven't supplied or clarified, and I don't at all think you're just making an argument from authority without backing it up with facts.

Gart 5 years, 11 months ago

"Neuhaus concluded that each of the 11 patients had serious mental health issues and that an abortion was advisable."

This is a great example of some of the weirdos, including "Uncle Adolf", who learned Eugenics from our own country........

Some just never learn........

Liberty275 5 years, 11 months ago

"If this wasn't in the Bible Belt, I think this wouldn't even be happening."

This isn't the bible belt. Go live in South Carolina a bit and you'll see.

Also, five pages? Really? My doctor at least a page every time he reads my blood pressure. Surely the mental and physical state of a child put into a dangerous position deserves a magnitude more detail and records than my BP. HIPPA law protects her from anything but a warrant, so her admission to keeping poor records to "protect" the young person is not only ethically lazy and bankrupt but also an admission to concealing evidence from the judicial system.

As much as you leftists support abortion, you can't really support this woman that failed to do her very important job. If you really cared about the girls, you wouldn't support such a poor doctor to protect them. You should be praising her removal in hopes we get a doctor that will examine every bit of the girl's history and mental and health condition. Five pages? Make it at least ten. The life and future of a fellow human is in your care. Take time to give a hoot.

As for larryville , all I see on the left is typical kneejerk reaction clouding people's judgment and on the right the usual suspects exploiting the failure of the abortion-indusrial-complex for political gain.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"As much as you leftists support abortion,"

And there's the whole point of your post, isn't it? You couldn't care less about the issue, or how it affects the women and other people involved. For you, it's all about those damned "leftists."

My suggestion-- Get. A. Life.

Liberty275 5 years, 10 months ago

Get bent, mouthpiece. The left turns a blind eye to a crappy doctor attending to the physical and mental needs of at-high-risk children because she say's what they want her to. That is what this entire issue is about.

Kate Rogge 5 years, 11 months ago

Do you think 'examining every bit of the girl's history and mental and health condition' will change the fact that she is a little girl and not an adult?

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

The point is that unless you have a very specific skill set, that question should not be asked. I don't have that skill set, and I suspect you don't either. And that's why we have professional groups who determine who should be asked and how they go about answering.

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

Do you normally also go to another doctor to have him or her also agree that your blood pressure is high? Is your blood pressure intensely private and yet sometimes subject to illegal searches on your medical records by politically motivated witch hunts? Would you have been publicly shamed if someone found out you had blood pressure? Because I'm thinking that second doctor may not take as many notes.

Kyle Neuer 5 years, 11 months ago

Amazing how "conservatives" loathe Big Government until it's an issue on their target list. But, you guys clearly know more about every medical situation than the families and physicians actually involved.

KillerKitten 5 years, 11 months ago

Abortion should remain legal as stated in Roe vs Wade. People who crusade against abortion so passionately ignore the issue of the mother's life. Regardless of what the laws say, women are still going to get abortions. The only thing banning abortion would do it force women into extremely unsafe, even potentially life-threatening, situations in which they'd seek unsafe procedures. Abortion provider witch hunts do nothing but oppress women.

I stand 100% by a woman's right to choose. Every single woman and every single pregnancy and situation is different. The decision whether or not to have an abortion is NOT black and white. It is a personal decision that only a woman and the people she trusts (as in, people SHE approaches for advice, not those her force their opinions on her) can make.

Keeping safe, medical abortions legal is not going to encourage more people to get abortions. Just because it's legal, does NOT automatically mean every pregnant woman out there is going to have the procedure.

As I write this, I'm really coming to understand exactly how the issue of abortion in this country really does trample on civil rights. The old farts in the Capital can't trust me to make my own medical decision. So they make it for me. Like they can't trust two people in love to make their own, personal decision about marriage. Like they couldn't trust a person of color to choose where they sit on the freakin bus.

Hey Government: why don't you just send me packages of food every week so you control exactly what I put into my body? Force me to exercise. Ban hair cuts. Make me take out my piercings. Issue me a uniform.

You know what? We can make babies in test tubes now. Why even bother with pesky women anymore? Female infanticide works in other countries, right? Why not America? You're shooting yourselves in the foot here, Government.

Loretta James 5 years, 11 months ago

It's only a baby when its wanted but I'll stand up for the babys any day and as for a 10 year old sometimes abortion is the answer but whats worse delivery or the abortion its self i watched a friend years ago after she had one i think i'll take the delivery. Babys some of us our on your side we love ya all

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 11 months ago

You know it's interesting to note that the person who brought the original complaint against Dr. Neuhaus was Cheryl Sullenger. Cozy up here and let me tell you a bit about Ms. Sullenger. Cheryl Sullenger is second in command of Operation Rescue; an organization deemed a "domestic terrorist group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center. She is a convicted felon. Her crime? Attempting to blow up (with explosives, kiddies, not bubble bath or bubble gum) an abortion clinic. She has also been convicted of federal crimes against the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. When Scott Roeder was apprehended after murdering Dr. George Tiller, she lied and initially denied even knowing him. Confronted with the fact that her private cell phone number was found in Roeder's possession (on the dash of his car, no less, for easy access) she made the excuse that all she did was "advise Roeder of Tiller's court dates". Yeah, uh huh. And if you believe that, I have some beach front property in New Mexico to sell you.
She made the initial complaint against Dr. Neuhaus on the basis of information "leaked" to Operation Rescue. That information most likely came from Phill Kline. By the time she made her complaint, Kline was no longer in Kansas yet was still in possession of copies of all the records he managed to abscond with to Virginia. However, there is no way to prove this.
Dr. Neuhaus intends to appeal this decision to the courts. Given the circumstances under which the complaint was made and the kangaroo court that decided it, I hope she succeeds, not just because I'm pro-choice, (which I admittedly am) but because this action makes a mockery of the law.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

Cait, You make a very compelling case. But so does notajayhawk. I would really like to see you respond to the comment below. I think it would be an interesting and enlightening discussion.

Centerville 5 years, 11 months ago

You had me going there, up until you cited the Southern Law Poverty Center. Very funny.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 11 months ago

A hate group is a hate group is a hate group.All the SPLC does is identify them.
OR is a terrorist organization. They steal records and publicly imply they have it in their power to "out" women that have had abortions. They harass women going into clinics for a pap smear and scream at them. They treat with murderers and have convicted felons in their leadership.
You can put all of the lipstick on a pig you want and it's still a pig.

notajayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

This case has nothing to do with abortion. At issue here is a physician who assigned psychiatric diagnoses without documenting the basis for those diagnoses. There are either two possibilities here: a) As the board alleged, she rubber-stamped the diagnoses without performing an adequate examination and history of the patients; or b) as she alleges, she performed the examinations and histories and did not adequately document them in the medical record. Now, here's the thing: In EITHER eventuality, that is cause, under Kansas statute (and the laws pretty much anywhere else in the United States), for a finding of professional incompetence and revocation of her license to practice. And that's not even mentioning the utterly unconscionable omission of not referring SUICIDAL patients for follow-up. Actually, given that she claims she DELIBERATELY withheld information from the medical record, she's darned lucky she wasn't also up on felony charges (something applicable, again, anywhere in the United States). Now, was she under particular scrutiny because of the purpose for which she was providing these diagnoses? Quite possibly. That being the case, however, she was doubly the fool for providing the board with all they needed to revoke her license. We don't need physicians in this state that perform diagnoses by accepting the recommendation of a computer program (against the directions of the program provider, incidentally); we don't need physicians that deliberately falsify medical records; and we don't need physicians that are just plain stupid.

notajayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

"It's not often I agree with you, but I do on this occasion."

I must be losing my touch. But to be fair, I haven't been around in quite some time. :)

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

I wondered about that. Lose your job again?

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

Dr Tiller was found not guilty on all 19 counts for the charges brought against him in the same case. Not that the increasingly politicized BHA cared. They just wanted to punish some abortion doctors.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

The charges against tiller were not "the same case". First of all, those were criminal charges being tried by a court, not the licensing board. And as I've mentioned previously, the basis of the allegations against Tiller was that he had legal and financial ties to the physician providing the second opinions, and had nothing to do with how those second opinions were prepared.

chootspa 5 years, 10 months ago

Oh, sorry for the confusion. The charges used the same illegally obtained medical files as evidence and involved the same witch hunt.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

The licensing board has access to all medical records (take a look at those HIPAA papers you get next time you're at the doctor's office, BEFORE you sign that you read them). And whether it was a "witch hunt" or not, Neuhaus violated the statutes. As I've said earlier, if she new she was under the microscope and broke the law anyway, she deserved to lose her license for being a fool.

chootspa 5 years, 10 months ago

Did Cheryl Sullenger have a right to see any medical record she wants? Because that's who filed the claim.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

ANYONE can file a complaint with the licensing board. Check their website.

chootspa 5 years, 10 months ago

Do they all get issued their very own copies of medical records to do so?

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

To expand on that a little: Say, for example, a physician was operating a 'prescription mill', selling prescriptions for oxycontin to anyone that wanted it and making up diagnoses in his records to justify the prescriptions. It's not very likely that any of that doctor's "patients" are going to complain to the board. The complaint to the licensing board might come from law enforcement, from a family member of a person that died from an overdose, a member of the doctor's staff (nurse, receptionist, etc.), another doctor, a neighbor of the 'clinic', or even from the drug dealer down the street who's losing business to the doctor. It doesn't matter. The doctor is still breaking the law, and still needs to have their license revoked.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

Short answer: Yes.

The entire purpose of an independent verification of a diagnosis is rendered meaningless if the second physician just acts as a rubber stamp. To be an independent diagnosis, it has to be based on her own examination. But really it doesn't matter whether it was a first or second opinion - a physician simply can not sign their name to a diagnosis without fully documenting the examination/assessment used to form that diagnosis.

At my last place of employment, I was the department's only licensed diagnostician. Other clinicians would perform the intake assessments, and would generally include their diagnostic impression. I can't just 'sign off' on that. It's unethical and ILLEGAL to put my name and my credentials on a diagnosis unless I assess the person myself, and thoroughly document that examination/assessment.

chootspa 5 years, 10 months ago

First off, since she testified under oath that she had not concurred on every single case, she was not a rubber stamp. There were slight variations between her notes and Dr. Tiller's, indicating that the two had not corroborated to get some sort of story straight, so yes, independent.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

Oh, okay, she testified she didn't do anything wrong when they were trying to take her license away. All right then, guess we should just take her word. -_-

You simply can't grasp the issue here, can you? Whether they were independent or corroborative, whether these evaluations were performed for abortions or to lance a boil, she still failed to meet the professional competancy standards for performing them. One more time: There are only two possibilities here, that either 1) she didn't perform an in-depth examination before issuing the diagnosis, or 2) she performed the examination and failed to document what she did, and EITHER of those is cause for a finding of professional incompetence and revocation of her license.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 10 months ago

"This case has nothing to do with abortion." Agreed but not for the same reasons you believe so. "At issue here is a physician who assigned psychiatric diagnoses without documenting the basis for those diagnoses." Because that was the way the law was set up.The law required that a physician make the diagnosis, not a psychologist or even a psychiatrist. The issue here is not a "bad doctor" but "bad law"; law that was designed to do exactly what it did do; entrap any physician that attempted to follow it. The real truth is, none of these girls (and they were all girls, none of them were "women" and every single one of them was under age) had anything wrong with them psychologically beyond sheer mental and emotional immaturity, That doesn't give anyone a free pass, though. My own psych nursing instructor, when I was in school, made the statement that "normal" behavior in an adolescent would be considered mental illness at any other stage of life. However, the law demanded that these evals be done by a person unqualified to do them. It was a TRAP law and it trapped her, alright, because she DARED to defy the Kansas legislature and actually attempted to do them. She is appealing to this to the courts and I hope her challenge proves just exactly what this law is and she wins.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

"At issue here is a physician who assigned psychiatric diagnoses without documenting the basis for those diagnoses." Because that was the way the law was set up.The law required that a physician make the diagnosis, not a psychologist or even a psychiatrist.

One has nothing to do with the other. It's not a matter of whether the former Dr. Neuhaus was qualified to diagnose mental disorders, all that matters is that she didn't document that she assessed the patient sufficiently to assign the diagnoses.

"The real truth is, none of these girls (and they were all girls, none of them were "women" and every single one of them was under age) had anything wrong with them psychologically beyond sheer mental and emotional immaturity,"

I sincerely hope you're wrong, because if that's the case, she is guilty of a lot more than failing to perform to an acceptable standard of care and/or sloppy documentation, she's guilty of outright fraud for assigning fictitious diagnoses solely to allow the patients to obtain a post-viability abortion.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 10 months ago

"Politicians were not elected to, nor should they, legislate the practice of medicine or dictate the parameters of the doctor-patient relationship. Our message to politicians is unequivocal: Get out of our exam rooms."

President, American Congress
of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Washington, May 22, 2012

jhawkinsf 5 years, 10 months ago

I must take issue with the quote you presented. Common sense must prevail at some point, especially when when have a quote by a prominent physician that we know to be either false or at least misleading.
I go back to the case of the use of medical marijuana in California. While living there, it became well known, common knowledge that any healthy individual could seek out a willing physician and get whatever diagnosis is necessary so that healthy person can get their prescription filled. The doctors advertised in "head" magazines and the patients were told ahead of time what to say. It's a joke.
Maybe the issue of medical marijuana is not an issue of such consequence that we need to get all upset about it. But it does highlight the very real fact that there are many doctors out there willing to behave in a way according to their own set agenda. And if that's the case, and doctors themselves are not willing or able to police themselves, then it's unfortunately going to fall upon the lawmakers within our society to police them. Now, Cait, you and others may have a problem with how the legislators around the country have gone about policing doctors. And what your quote does highlight is the fact that legislators are not the best policing forum. But all this would be unnecessary if doctors did it themselves. When the good doctor can legitimately say that his profession has done it's job, then he can legitimately chastise legislators for overstepping theirs.

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

Letting folks police their own is always fraught with problems, in any field.

On the other hand, they're the ones most qualified to know a lot about the subject, so it's difficult.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 10 months ago

Expanding on that theme, that's always been one of my biggest problems with those in social services. They are the most qualified to police themselves, yet have the least incentive to do so. And of course, I pick on them because I used to be one of them. Perhaps you only get that insight when you step away from it. When I stop being in business (retire) then I'll see the problems with small business owners.

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

Well, in my limited experience through my wife, the voluntary professional accreditation group that she works with does a much better job of ensuring that quality services are provided than the government regulations.

In fact, I'd say that the best way to ensure those would simply be to require that all organizations like hers are accredited through CARF.

That would free up a lot of time and energy for case managers to actually help people rather than doing a bunch of silly paperwork.

But, I understand that it's problematic in general to allow self-policing, and relies on the integrity of the folks involved.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 10 months ago

"Common sense must prevail at some point, especially when when have a quote by a prominent physician that we know to be either false or at least misleading."
I provided the link to the New York Times opinion piece. You obviously didn't go read the whole thing.Just because you disagree with him, you then pronounce the quote "false and misleading".
You must not just watch Fox News, you must also buy into their methods.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

Ya' think Dr. Breeden diagnoses his patients using a computer program's recommendations, do ya'?

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

If the doctor that's prescribing those medications diagnoses by using yes/no answers in a computer program rather than gathering a full histiry and performing an adequate examination of the patient, then I strongly encourage you to report them. If not, then you evidently don't understand the issue at stake here.

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