Kansas doctor loses license due to abortion referrals

11:49 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
There's a petition going around regarding Dr. Ann Neuhas's, a colleague of the late Dr. Tiller, medical license having been revoked.  The only article I can find from an actual news source is Fox, which is notorious for getting a US Court of Appeals to rule that news organizations can lie and falsify.  The revocation order itself states:
"..failing to adhere to the appropriate standard of care in the treatment of patients, and failing to make and maintain adequate patient medical records."
Let's tackle the easy portion first: medical records.  Having worked in health care, charting is rushed through 9 times out of 10.  Providing care comes first and foremost, and detailed record keeping, while important, can take hours at the end of an already long day.  I have known people to develop grudges against nurses, and get them in trouble, if not have their licenses revoked entirely, for charting issues.  (Mind you, my experience was in the States, where this dispute took place).  Now bear in mind that she was heavily watched by anti-choicers. For years.  Now imagine if every paperwork mistake that you've made at work in the past three years was brought before a panel of your peers.  In short, if you want to get someone in the medical field in trouble, go through their records with a finetooth comb and you will inevitably find something that doesn't fly with the Board of Medicine.  Considering the Kansas attorney general's office began to single out abortion providers, including Dr. Tiller, perhaps Neuhaus was correct in maintaining her patients privacy since this is the same state that brought us Operation Rescue.
The deviation from standard of care means that her records and procedures were examined by fellow doctors, who found them to be lacking.  As Fox puts it, "she performed inadequate mental health exams on young patients she then referred to Dr. George Tiller for late-term abortions."  In other words, she used a computer program designed to help diagnose, which the judge found to be an inadequate tool (allegedly being five pages or less) and her judgment to be faulty.  Again drawing on my experiences, short and succinct questionnaires are common-place in the medical field, unless being seen by a specialist for an in-depth psychological evaluation.  It is not unusual for someone diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder to answer five questions by ticking "yes" or "no" boxes followed by a short conversation when being seen for a medication check.  (Ten years ago it wasn't unusual for a person to go to their primary care physician with complaints of depression, only to be handed a prescription for anti-depressants and told to come back in two weeks).
The part of the ruling that does concern me is the alleged lack of aftercare.  While the judge and board (practitioners of law, not medicine) determined hospitalization to be necessary in some cases, remember that all 11 cases reviewed involved patients between the ages of 10 and 18.  Institutionalizing a young girl who recently had an abortion is going to compound the trauma, rather than therapeutic.  That's not to say that hospitalization is the only option, it seems to be the only one under consideration in this hearing.  But there is no way of knowing what methods were used without seeing the case files.  Then again, some of these girls could have been claiming suicidal ideation for any number of reasons that had nothing to do with true mental health problems.
In conclusion, I am inclined to believe that these are trumped up allegations.  There are certainly people who are out to prevent abortions at any cost, even for under-age girls who are victims of incest, that getting one practitioner who provides second opinions out of the medical field is not too petty for them.  After all, murder wasn't.

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