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Archive for the ‘Healing Arts Board’ Category

Hon. Thomas Malone

Hon. Thomas Malone

A rotten district court ruling is too hot to handle and the proper court of review doesn’t want to deal with it. Guess why? The revoked medical licensee is an abortionist.

In a technical legal dodge on Friday, the Kansas Court of Appeals ruled that that it is too early for them to review an appeal by the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts in the matter of abortionist Kris Neuhaus.

The Board revoked her license in July 2012, after a six day hearing under State Administrative Law Judge Edward Gashler in which he found that, “the care and treatment of 11 patients [obtaining late-term abortions in 2003] was seriously jeopardized” by Neuhaus. (More posts here, here, here and here)

But that finding was blocked March 7, 2014 by Shawnee District Court Judge Franklin Theis, opining that the Board ‘over-punished’ Neuhaus for “being sloppy,” taking “short cuts,” and showing “inconsistent attention to proper protocols.”

Days later, the Board appealed. Kansas Court of Appeals chief Judge Thomas Malone issued a 2-page order Friday, claiming Theis’ order did not constitute a “final ruling” that they can review and that the Board had not yet reconsidered sanctions –as ordered by the district court.

The Court of Appeals wants the Board to go away and follow Theis’ order—but that order is exactly what the Board wants the higher court to reverse!

The Board is left with 3 legal options:

  1. ask for reconsideration by the same Court of Appeals that doesn’t want to do so,
  2. ask the state Supreme Court for review of the Court of Appeals position,
  3. go back in session to issue a revised sanction of Neuhaus.

Neuhaus’ lawyers found arguably the best activist judge in the state to take review –Shawnee District Court Judge Franklin Theis. Theis’ sympathies were revealed early on, when the state asked for a bond to recoup further court costs from Neuhaus and Theis said the appeal would proceed without any hope of repayment. He later ruled on the abortionist’s behalf, “there is not sufficient proof to support the board’s findings of ‘professional incompetency’…based on Neuhaus’ failure to maintain adequate records to support the diagnosis.”

NEUHAUS’ LONG-TIME INCOMPETENCE
The inability to do proper patient intake was the subject of disciplinary action against Neuhaus from 1999-2001, when the Board labeled her,“a danger to the public.” Unfortunately, the Board allowed her to keep her license, and she used it to rubber-stamp “mental health” exemption referrals –onsite –for George Tiller, enabling him to proceed with post-viability abortions.

Concerning those notorious referrals, Judge Gashler’s decision upholding the revocation included this:
“There is no indication that the Licensee [Neuhaus] on any occasion actually conversed with a patient concerning the items necessary for a competent mental health examination to be completed… In some cases, the patients were, according to the Licensee’s diagnosis, suicidal. Yet, in not one single case did the Licensee make any recommendations that the patient be seen by a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or any other type of mental health worker. The Licensee simply referred each patient for a pregnancy termination.”

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts needs to keep its new-found resolve to discipline dangerous abortionists, and challenge this new Court of Appeals ruling.

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Past Board director enabled Neuhaus

Past Board director, Larry Buening, enabled Neuhaus

The Kansas State Healing Arts Board voted unanimously Friday evening to appeal the March 7 district court ruling overturning its July 2012 license revocation of former abortionist Ann Kristin (Kris) Neuhaus.

After nine-months’ reflection, Judge Franklin R. Theis issued a very pro-abortion ruling, sending the issue back to the Board for “review,” opining that it was wrong to take away Neuhaus’ license.

Neuhaus does not have a current Kansas license to practice medicine, even in a restricted manner, but this ruling allows her to apply for one—though it is exceedingly doubtful the Board would approve it.

Neuhaus lost her license for repeatedly breaking the state rules on medical record-keeping and patient exams. Specifically, she had issued the required ‘validation’ for third-trimester abortions for 11 young teens in 2003 under the claim that the girls would otherwise suffer “irreparable and sustainable” mental harm. (read more here)

Those 11 cases originated in medical files that had been acquired by then-Kansas Attorney General, Phill Kline. Kline had obtained the records in an attempt (thwarted under then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and the state Supreme Court) to prosecute the late George Tiller for abusing the law on exceptions to the Kansas ban on post-viability abortions.

Judge Theis ruled, “there is not sufficient proof to support the board’s findings of ‘professional incompetency’…based on Neuhaus’ failure to maintain adequate records to support the diagnosis.” Instead, he

opined that the Board had, in essence, ‘over-punished’ Neuhaus for “being sloppy,” taking “short cuts,” and showing “inconsistent attention to proper protocols.”

Excuse me, Judge, but not being able to find evidence of the nature of the patient’s problems from Neuhaus’ own scanty notations and checkbox-formatted computer printouts IS the point!

The administrative court opinion (upholding the Board’s complaint) ruled there was no evidence “of any examination nor…of what transpired between the patient and licensee [Neuhaus].” Yet this was supposedly a ‘referral’ by a second, so-called independent, doctor that an abortion was the recommended solution to an irreversible mental health problem.

Obviously, the Board believes it more than ‘made its case’ and will not ‘rethink’ its sanction. In a quickly convened, 22-minute meeting conducted by phone Friday evening (with discussion by the members closed to the public), the Board chose to get Theis’ ruling voided through an appeal to the state court of appeals.

Frankly, the corrupt, past Healing Arts Board Executive Director, Larry Buening, is squarely to blame for Neuhaus, and enabling the illegal abortions of thousands of viable unborn children.

According to 2009 court testimony, Buening helped Wichita abortionist Tiller find a Kansas licensed doctor willing to ‘rubber stamp’ post-viability abortions as being authorized under a mental health exemption. Buening recommended Neuhaus, and helped steer the Board to allow her to keep her license after she had lost federal drug privileges and been found repeatedly unable to properly evaluate, examine, monitor and discharge patients.

But this well-documented pattern of Neuhaus’ inability to do the bare essentials of medical intake was downplayed by Theis. Other errors in this wrong-headed ruling will be further examined in an upcoming post.

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Failed Neuhaus

Kris Neuhaus

Late Friday, Shawnee County District Judge Franklin R. Theis quietly issued a ruling in favor of former abortionist Ann Kristen (Kris) Neuhaus, overturning the State Healing Arts Board’s July 2012 revocation of her license and wiping out her $93,000.00 debt of assessed court costs. (Note, Neuhaus has already achieved $63,000.00 to pay that debt, pledged here.)

Neuhaus’ license was revoked for negligence and failing to meet the standard of care in eleven cases in 2003, in which she had “approved” young teens  to obtain post-viability abortions from the late George Tiller in Wichita, on grounds that –without those abortions–they would suffer irreversible mental harm. (see more info herehere, and here)

The Board’s revocation case had gone to trial under administrative law judge Edward Gashler, who ruled that Neuhaus had demonstrably failed to keep accurate and complete medical records, as required by law.

Neuhaus’ inability to practice medicine was long documented in her disciplinary history, first with limitations in 1999 due to “failure to maintain complete and accurate records.” Soon after, the Board found in 2000 and 2001 that Neuhaus violated the standard of care due to “no focused physical examination,” failure in “ monitoring vital signs”, and “no anesthesia record”—actions the Board said “create a danger to the public.”

While Theis upheld Neuhaus’ record-keeping failure, he overturned Gashler’s assessment that Neuhaus had “seriously jeopardized” patients’ care with inadequate mental health exams. Theis sent the case back to the State Healing Arts Board for review.

As reported by the Associated Press, executive director, Kathleen Lippert Seltzer, said the Board will meet within the month to decide whether to rehear the case or instead, file an appeal of Theis’ decision.
(UPDATE Mar. 14: Board  unanimously agreed to appeal Thies’ ruling; see AP story)

AP also quoted Bob Eye, one of Neuhaus’ attorneys, as saying Theis’ ruling is “pretty consistent” with their arguments.  Gee, what a surprise—Theis is on their side?

ABORTION LAWYER SAVES JUDGE
Eye’s former law partner, Planned Parenthood counsel Pedro Irigonegaray, orchestrated (and helped fund) a successful last-minute rescue of Theis’ job in 2004. This was a response to an ad hoc group of Shawnee County citizens who were justifiably outraged at Theis’ leniency to child molesters in three cases and sought his defeat.  However, with the help of Irigonegaray and attorney donations for TV and radio ads, Theis eked out a narrow 51% victory. (read more here and here)

Pro-lifers are infuriated that this same Judge Theis has been “sitting on” another Kansas abortion lawsuit, brought against the Kansas 2011 abortion clinic regulation law. Theis has indefensibly allowed NO ACTION to proceed in this lawsuit brought by the Overland Park abortion duo of Herb Hodes and daughter Traci Nauser. The 2011 law—which is not in effect to Theis’ stubborn inaction for over two years—would:

  • create licensure standards for abortion businesses with requisite hospital privileges;
  • allow Health department inspections, including one annual unannounced visit;
  • mandate reporting of abortion-caused injuries;
  • insure chemical abortions are administered in person (not via “webcam”).

Kansans for Life has prioritized educating pro-lifers about the dire need for reforming the judicial nominating procedure in our state, to be more reflective of the Kansas public and less a tool of the abortion industry.  Judge Franklin Theis is a prime example of the need for such reform.

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Hodes

Hodes

Carhart

Carhart

A recent expose in the Topeka newspaper about a disreputable and impaired Wichita surgeon lends credence to a perception that doctors can continue to be a danger to the public and yet retain a Kansas medical license.

The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts’ long-held policy is that physicians are a state resource that should be preserved, while balancing that goal against that of protecting patients.

The way the Board handles complaints about their licensees is frustrating. The filer of the complaint to the Board learns nothing of what transpired in the case–even in a general way—unless and until concrete discipline is taken against the physician.

The Board does not even confirm or rebut the facts of the alleged incident(s) sent to them!

This past month, the Board closed complaints from Kansans For Life about two state-licensed abortionists– Herb Hodes and LeRoy Carhart. In neither case did the abortionist receive disciplinary action or loss of license. All we were told is that unspecified “information” was placed in their personnel files.

Our complaint against Hodes focused on a late abortion allegedly initiated by him in Kansas in 2011, after the state’s pain-capable ban on such abortions was in effect. It was based on a direct tip to KFL from the wife of a Missouri physician allegedly involved in the surgical completion of the abortion. In that case, we are left wondering whether an illegal abortion was actually begun in Kansas (to be “resolved” in another state) and whether other similar abortions are occurring.

Our complaint against Carhart involved the death of his patient, Jennifer Morbelli, as well as other women taken from his Maryland clinic by ambulance. Recent legal authority for the Board allows them to examine Kansas-licensees’ actions in other states. Yet we have no clue as to what the Board found. We are left with the impression that the Board believes Carhart is following acceptable standard of care for women obtaining late abortions in Maryland.

We urge that knowledgeable individuals not be discouraged from filing responsible complaints to the Board. After all, the Board did initiate license revocation of George Tiller six months before his death, and later sought and obtained license revocation of his referring abortionist, Kris Neuhaus.

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Judge Franklin Theis

Judge Franklin Theis

Today, Shawnee County Judge Franklin Theis heard arguments for and against retaining the July 2012 revocation of the medical license of former abortionist Ann Kristen (Kris) Neuhaus. The judge said his ruling will not be ready for some time.

The complaint from the state Board of Healing Arts is that Neuhaus failed to follow the standard of care in recommending that eleven teens in 2003 were eligible to abort viable babies because continuing the pregnancy caused them to suffer substantial and irreversible mental harm.

At one point, Theis raised a somewhat rhetorical question to Board attorney Kelli Stevens of why the state was not prosecuting for fraud, instead of failed standards.

Stevens urged that while the context of the case was abortion, the issue was not whether these 11 teens were valid candidates for abortion, but whether Neuhaus, as a licensed medical physician, had failed her “duty to make a proper record”. All Kansas physicians must obey this duty in statute:

“keep written medical records which accurately describe the services rendered to the patient, including patient histories, pertinent findings, examination results and test results.”

The pathetic condition of Neuhaus’ files in these eleven cases were shown when, under direct testimony in earlier proceedings, Neuhaus herself couldn’t recollect some of these teens, using all her notes and records. Her attorney today, Kori Trussell, even admitted her records “were not as they should be” but then insisted that it doesn’t mean she did not properly evaluate the mental health of the teens.

Stevens pushed that it is not whether these teens were even medically eligible candidates under the abortion law, but that Neuhaus’ diagnoses are “unsupported.” Her files are inconsistent and some cannot even be reconciled with those of Tiller as to dates and patient profiles, said Stevens.

Kansas legislators in 1998 banned abortions on viable unborn children unless the women faced substantial and irreversible bodily damage (including mental health) as documented by a second independent physician. Legislators had thought that the second physician would bring accountability so that lone abortionists would not be inventing exceptions to the ban.

However, Neuhaus was neither independent nor a psychological expert. Not only was she the exclusive second physician signing off on late-term abortions for now-deceased Wichita-abortionist George Tiller, that was her primary– if not only– salaried job between 2003-2006.

The Board’s revocation had been finalized by Administrative law judge Ed Gaschler and Judge Theis has asked for a directed index of the 3,000 page transcript. The appeal is going forward even though Neuhaus claims she is penniless and cannot afford to pay legal costs.

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Kris Neuhaus

The Kansas state Board of Healing Arts will likely never be repaid the $93,000.00 it already spent revoking the medical license of abortionist Kris Neuhaus. And it’s hard to believe the ongoing expenses of the district court and the Board involved in her appeal will ever be reimbursed either.

The protracted medical license revocation action against Neuhaus was based on ‘psych referrals’ she made for 11 teens receiving late-term Wichita abortions in 2003. The Board spent $75,000.00 for expert testimony and review of Neuhaus’ records for those cases, finding that she failed in multiple ways to meet medical standards.

District Judge Franklin Theis is presiding over Neuhaus’ appeal of that revocation, which is in the initial stages. The Board issued its final revocation order July 5, 2012, allowing a delay in repayment, but then asked the court to enforce the Board’s right to require a bond. This was the only time in Theis’ memory, he said, that the Board had asked for a bond in this kind of proceeding.

Abortion attorneys argue Neuhaus is impoverished and would not be able to pay the $93,000.00 “in the foreseeable future.”

They said she could only afford a bond of $100, which Judge Theis said “would be a joke.”

Theis then ruled that Neuhaus merely “sign a statement saying she’ll pay any judgment imposed by the courts.”

Neuhaus was uncovered in 2006 as the sole source of second opinions for abortions performed after viability by George Tiller. Under the law, totally “independent” referrals would give proof that the abortion was needed to prevent irreversible and substantial bodily damage- or death– to the mother. Although Tiller escaped a misdemeanor conviction in March 2009 for repeatedly using Neuhaus’ services, the Healing Board proceeded with license revocation filings for Tiller until his murder in May 2009.

Although the Board has regrettably taken no disciplinary actions against other physician associates of Tiller who also used Neuhaus’ referrals, they did proceed with revocation against Neuhaus –a licensee they twice officially called “a danger to the public” and first began to discipline fifteen years ago. (see Neuhaus Board history here)

Neuhaus has no viable medical practice and for the last few years held a strictly limited license until it was revoked. According to sworn testimony, she has worked at a variety of part time positions including a blood bank, laser hair removal salon and an indigent clinic. Yet, under a “due process” claim, she will continue to eat up Court and Board expenses during an appeal process for which she has virtually no chance of winning.

The awful irony is that the court is bending over backward to give Neuhaus the due process that thousands of children and their mothers were denied in Kansas clinics.

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After over a year of threats by ex-Tiller political operative, Julie Burkhart, to re-establish a Wichita abortion business, the Wichita Eagle reports that Burkhart’s Trust Women group officially owns the old Tiller clinic building.

The Eagle obtained no definitive information about how Burkhart would be using the building, but Kansans for Life had alerted its members September 12th of credible inside information that a Wichita clinic staffed with three non-Kansas abortionists would indeed be opening in January 2013.

If in fact Burkhart does open a business with itinerant abortionists, women will be in much jeopardy. Out-of-state physicians do not have

  • a stake in the community with family ties,
  • a medical reputation to maintain,
  • a permanent real estate investment.

Abortion clinics are notorious for sending abortion-injured women to the hospital without the necessary first-hand information for accurate emergency treatment– apparently what happened in the Tonya Reaves botched abortion death from a Chicago-area Planned Parenthood this July.

This is the reason that a provision requiring local hospital privileges for itinerant abortionists was passed in 2011 as part of the abortion clinic licensure law.  Unfortunately, this law is under injunction and thus not in effect, so the Eagle report is wrong that at least one of Burkhart’s abortionists would have to attain hospital privileges within 30 miles of the clinic.

An abundance of incidents across this nation have documented a variety of schemes with abortionists crossing state lines to take advantage of differing state laws governing abortion. Without a clinic licensure law in effect, the Kansas state health department cannot inspect, restrain, or penalize clinics.

Additionally, the Healing Arts Board cannot discipline a non-resident abortionist who drops his/her license and leaves Kansas.  Even if malpractice has occurred, the Board cannot chase abortionists into other states and force them to return to testify in Kansas, nor can the Board compel information from other state medical boards.  And certainly, personal lawsuits for injury and death on behalf of a woman or her family cannot be filed in other states.

If the information Kansans for Life received is true, the abortionists for the slated new clinic are residents of Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Nebraska abortionist LeRoy Carhart, a longtime Tiller-associate, still possesses a Kansas license.

Two other former itinerant Tiller abortionists, Shelly Sella and Susan Robinson, did not renew their Kansas medical licenses after Tiller’s murder.  Although this past year, Kansas State Board of Healing Arts did revoke the medical license of Tiller associate, Kris Neuhaus, for repeatedly violating the medical standard of care, they took no actions to discipline Carhart, Sella and Robinson for fraudulent late-term abortions.

Kansans for Life Executive Director, Mary Kay Culp, commented:

“It is tragic Burkhart appears poised to re-engage in destroying unborn children and exploiting women for money, again using out-of-state abortionists who can escape discipline from the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, and not yet subject to our new licensure law due to litigation; Burkhart knows that illegal abortions in Wichita were not penalized, and more recently, Planned Parenthood escaped prosecution when state documents were shredded with impunity–a situation that key legislators are currently investigating.”

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A final ruling on the long-sought revocation of Kansas abortionist Ann Kristen (Kris) Neuhaus has been delayed until the next meeting of the state Board of Healing Arts in mid-June.

The Associated Press reported Friday that Board President Gary Counselman said Board members were “very uncomfortable proceeding at this point,” because members didn’t receive copies of 70 pages of previously submitted legal arguments from Neuhaus’ attorneys until Thursday afternoon. They wanted more time to review them.

The petition to revoke, filed in April of 2010, “accuses Neuhaus of negligence in conducting mental health exams for 11 patients, ages 10 to 18, who terminated pregnancies from July to November 2003,” according to the Associated Press’s John Hanna.

“Neuhaus diagnosed the patients with acute anxiety, acute stress or single episodes of major depression, concluding their conditions met requirements in Kansas law for late-term abortions.” However, state law required independent referrals to verify that such abortions were obtained only to prevent the death of, or irreversible and substantial injury to, the mother.

All the 11 young women were in their sixth or seventh month of pregnancy when they met with Neuhaus at the Tiller facility.  Neuhaus was never trained as a psychiatric consultant, and ended up utilizing an online ‘answer tree.’

Evidence from the patient files repeatedly indicated such diagnoses were logged in and completed within 2 to 3 minutes.

Thus the teens were (more…)

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Neuhaus' current KU photo as a "fellow" of public health

Has the Kansas medical license of Kris Neuhaus actually been revoked by the state Healing Arts Board? Not quite, despite certain media headlines.

An “initial order,” that her license be revoked was sent to the Board by Administrative Law Judge, Edward Gashler, who presided over her disciplinary hearing this winter.  The order was made public Tuesday. (Kansans for Life was notified, because we have filed formal complaints with considerable documentation against Neuhaus, accompanied by thousands of citizen signatures.)

And the order strongly indicts Neuhaus’ so-called counsel of young pregnant women seeking late-term abortions in Wichita in 2003. The order also described Neuhaus’ sole professional witness (a KU physician) as “not credible.”

But the order that her license be revoked is not operative quite yet, as it is yet to be reviewed and voted out by a majority of the Board as a “final order”.

Because such matters legally require 10 days notice, the Neuhaus matter will not be on the Board’s regularly scheduled bimonthly meeting this Friday.  It is probably headed for the Board’s April meeting agenda, although technically, the Board could ask to deal with it sooner.

(Neuhaus also is on the calendar for a separate Board-ordered hearing March 8, on whether (more…)

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Julie Burkhart

In what she no doubt thought was a clever entry Friday on her TrustWomen abortion advocacy website, Julie Burkhart called for the new Kansas Office of the Repealer to delete abortion ‘informed-consent’ requirements from 1997, as well as four new abortion-regulating laws enacted this July.

Burkhart, the former top aide to late-term abortionist George Tiller, left Kansas soon after the state Healing Arts Board filed to remove Tiller’s license in Dec. 2008. Burkhart is now itching to set up a new Wichita abortion clinic. She may be dreaming about reclaiming the approximately 2,500 non-late-term abortions that were done annually in Tiller’s clinic until his death 2 ½ years ago. At an average abortion cost of $500-$600, the clinic could gross $1.5 million.

For Burkhart to call for repealing every law constraining unethical conduct at her hoped-for abortion clinic is like a notorious slum landlord calling for repeal of home safety inspections and fair housing laws under the claim that such regulations impede providing more affordable housing to the poor.

Although Burkhart began her ‘sore loser’ list of complaints with a tongue-in-cheek premise, she was dead serious about these assertions:

  • abortion helps poor women;
  • abortion is part of ‘maternal’ care;
  • abortion of disabled children is economically beneficial;
  • private abortion clinics should not be held to the same patient protections required of surgery centers and hospitals;
  • new abortion regulations have been enacted against the will of Kansans.

None of those claims are true. Kansas pro-life laws were certainly not whisked into place by whim! The health insurance law operated for decades in the eastern part of the state.  (more…)

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