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Judge Sides With Kan. Doctor Who Provided Second Opinions for Tiller

Judge Sides With Kan. Doctor Who Provided Second Opinions for Tiller

March 12, 2014 — A Kansas judge has ordered the state medical board to reconsider its 2012 decision to revoke the medical license of physician Ann Kristin Neuhaus, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports (Hanna, AP/Sacramento Bee, 3/10).

Case Background

Neuhaus' medical license was revoked based on allegations that she conducted inadequate exams of abortion patients when providing second opinions for the late George Tiller. Neuhaus conducted the exams to comply with a Kansas law that requires abortion providers to obtain an independent second opinion, concurring that patients seeking abortion care late in pregnancy would face significant and permanent harm if the pregnancy continued. Tiller -- one of a few physicians in the country who provided late abortions -- was shot to death by an antiabortion-rights activist in 2009 (Women's Health Policy Report, 9/7/12).

Latest Developments

In an 84-page ruling that become public Monday, Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis wrote that although Neuhaus' record keeping did not meet "any reasonably required standard of care," the former hearing officer's conclusion that she provided inadequate care relied "solely on an inference" from problems with the records. Theis added that "such an inference is too slim, too frail and too conjectural to support any of [the hearing officer's] conclusions reached beyond a breach of adequate record keeping."

State Board of Healing Arts Executive Director Kathleen Selzler Lippert said the board would meet within the next month to decide whether to reconsider Neuhaus' case or appeal Theis' ruling.

Bob Eye, one of Neuhaus' attorneys, said that she and her legal team are "very happy about the outcome" of the ruling. Under Theis' order, Neuhaus would still have to file paperwork with the board to regain her license (AP/Sacramento Bee, 3/10).