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.