June 12, 2014 — The Kansas Court of Appeals has dismissed a request from the state medical board and let stand a lower court's order that the board review its 2012 decision to revoke the medical license of physician Ann Kristin Neuhaus, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports (Hanna, AP/Sacramento Bee, 6/10).
Neuhaus' medical license was revoked based on allegations that she conducted inadequate exams of abortion patients when providing second opinions for the late George Tiller.
In March, Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis ordered the board to review its decision, ruling that while Neuhaus' record keeping did not meet "any reasonably required standard of care," the conclusion that she provided inadequate care relied "solely on an inference" from problems with the records (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/12).
The state medical board appealed the ruling, saying in a filing last week that an immediate review was the only way that the board could preserve its decision to revoke Neuhaus' license. The board said that if it issued lesser sanctions, Neuhaus could end the case by accepting the penalties, given that the board is prohibited from challenging its own decisions in court.
In dismissing the case last week, Kansas Court of Appeals Chief Judge Thomas Malone said that the court could not consider the matter because the lower court had not completed its own review, which would involve weighing whatever sanctions the board finally decides to impose.
On Tuesday, State Board of Healing Arts Executive Director Kathleen Selzler Lippert said that the board will review Neuhaus' case later this summer or in the fall.
Bob Eye, an attorney representing Neuhaus, said that Neuhaus is "caught in a legal limbo here while the case proceeds through the process," adding that she has become "a convenient object of anger" for abortion-rights opponents.
Meanwhile, Kansans for Life criticized Malone's decision, calling it a "technical legal dodge" (AP/Sacramento Bee, 6/10).