By Kathy Ostrowski, Kansans for Life Legislative Director
Has the already restricted Kansas medical license of abortionist Kris Neuhaus actually been revoked by the state Healing Arts Board? Not quite, despite certain media headlines.
An “initial order” that her license be revoked was sent to the Board by Administrative Law Judge Edward Gashler who presided over her disciplinary hearing this winter. The order was made public Tuesday. (Kansans for Life was notified, because we have filed formal complaints with considerable documentation against Neuhaus, accompanied by thousands of citizen signatures.)
And the order strongly indicts Neuhaus’ so-called counseling of young pregnant women, as well as what was described as the “not credible” testimony of her sole professional witness.
But the order that her license be revoked is not operative quite yet, as it is yet to be reviewed and voted out by a majority of the Board as a “final order.”
Because such matters legally require 10 days notice, the Neuhaus matter will not be on the Board’s regularly scheduled bimonthly meeting this Saturday. It is probably headed for the Board’s April meeting agenda, although technically, the Board could specially seek to deal with it sooner.
Neuhaus also is on the calendar for a separate Board-ordered hearing March 8, on whether she can upgrade her licensure status, which is currently limited to charity care.
The petition to revoke, filed in April of 2010, “accuses Neuhaus of negligence in conducting mental health exams for 11 patients, ages 10 to 18, who terminated pregnancies from July to November 2003,” according to the Associated Press’s John Hanna. “Neuhaus diagnosed the patients with acute anxiety, acute stress or single episodes of major depression, concluding their conditions met requirements in Kansas law for late-term abortions.”
Neuhaus approved those post-viability abortions at the Wichita clinic of the late George Tiller. However, the state law required independent referrals to verify that such abortions were obtained only to prevent the death of, or irreversible and substantial injury to, the mother.
All the 11 young women were in their sixth or seventh month of pregnancy when they met with Neuhaus at the Tiller facility. Neuhaus was never trained as a psychiatric consultant, and ended up utilizing an online ‘answer tree.’ Evidence from the patient files repeatedly indicated such diagnoses were logged in and completed within 2 to 3 minutes. Thus the teens were able to secure these abortion at a cost of $6,000 or more.
With all that being said, should Neuhaus be allowed to keep her license in any fashion? No, the evidence is damning. Will she have it yet for a few more months? Likely yes, because of due process rules.
“We look forward to affirmation of Neuhaus revocation by the current Board– which would be hard pressed to reach any other conclusion, given the crushing evidence against her,” said Kansans for Life Executive Director Mary Kay Culp.
The crushing evidence in the “initial order” against Neuhaus came from Judge Gashler:
“[Neuhaus] held herself out to be a specialist…but failed…to make competent mental health evaluations that meet the applicable standard of care. …There is no indication that [she] actually conversed with [any] patient.”
“[Neuhaus] diagnosed each patient as having a major mental illness…[some] suicidal. Yet not in a single case did [she] make any recommendation that the patient be seen by a psychiatrist, psychologist or any other type of mental health worker. [Neuhaus] simply referred each patient for a pregnancy termination.”
“Based on the evidence, [Neuhaus] simply completed yes/no questions and answers and whatever diagnosis the computer gave, she assigned that diagnosis. This method of practicing medicine does not meet the applicable standard of care.”
“The testimony of Dr. Greiner [Neuhaus’ sole witness] is largely discounted. This is based on his relationship [he’s currently her supervisor] as well as the inability to find him credible.”