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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Kansas board revokes doctor's license again in abortion case

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Monday, July 17, 2017 05:18 pm

TOPEKA, Kan. Kansas' medical board for the third time has revoked the license of a doctor whose second opinions allowed the late Dr. George Tiller to perform late-term abortions more than a decade ago.

The State Board of Healing Arts acted against Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus over what it previously concluded were her inadequate records for 11 patients aged 10 to 18 who sought abortions in 2003. Kansas law at the time required a second doctor to conclude that continuing a pregnancy would permanently harm a patient's physical or mental health.

The board's order earlier this month said poor record-keeping could jeopardize the patients' future care, particularly because Neuhaus said following exams that they were suffering from depression or other major mental health problems and several were deemed suicidal. The board also noted that it limited Neuhaus' activities as a doctor in 1999 and 2001 over record-keeping issues.

"Patient safety is the paramount concern," the board said in its July 7 order.

Neuhaus, from Nortonville, moved from a full license to a limited one allowing her to perform charity care but wanted to regain a full license. The board revoked her limited license in 2012 and 2015 but both times, a Shawnee County judge reversed its action and ordered it to reconsider.

Her attorney, Bob Eye, did not immediately return telephone messages seeking comment. Neuhaus has said she kept patient information out of her records to protect their privacy.

Neuhaus' case garnered attention because her second opinions were for Tiller, who was among a few U.S. physicians to terminate pregnancies in their final weeks when he was shot to death at his church in 2009 by a man professing strong anti-abortion beliefs. Neuhaus is a former abortion provider herself, scrutinized by anti-abortion groups for years.

The board said in 2012 that Neuhaus also had violated standards of care in performing mental health exams on the young patients, but Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis ruled that it did not have the evidence to support the conclusion.

When the board revoked her license a second time, Theis ruled that the board still had not adequately justified the action.

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Follow John Hanna on Twitter at https://twitter.com/apjdhanna .

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