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.