By Dave Andrusko
When last we wrote about four abortion clinics and three abortionists in Maryland, the licenses of the Associates in OB/GYN Care-run clinics in Baltimore, Cheverly, Frederick, and Silver Spring had been suspended by the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. They remain so.
The licenses of abortionists Iris Dominy, Michael Basco, and Mansour Panah were suspended subsequently by the Maryland Board of Physicians. Since that time one— Panah, who was the medical director when 38-year-old Maria Santiago died following an abortion— had his license reinstated, while another—Basco—had had his suspension upheld. There had been no hearing to date on Dominy as of that story.
Alas, the Maryland State Board of Physicians has now reinstated Dr. Dominy as well. The suspension of her license was lifted in a letter dated August 29, with the stipulation that she “is prohibited from performing any procedures that require Dr. Dominy to administer sedation to patients.” The Board “concludes that there is no imminent danger to public health and safety posed by Dr. Dominy practicing medicine at this time.”
Dominy’s medical license was not suspended because of Ms. Santiago’s death. “State investigators found the woman’s death raised questions about whether doctors at the clinic could handle an abortion that goes wrong, although the conclusion was that the woman’s death ‘was caused by underlying conditions and not the abortion,’” the Baltimore Sun’s Andrea K. Walker reported.
After the abortion “the awake but ‘still very drowsy’ woman was left in the care of an unlicensed medical assistant, during which time she experienced cardiopulmonary arrest,” according to the Associated Press’s Ben Nuckols.
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A story in the British newspaper The Daily Mail filled in some of the details surrounding Ms. Santiago’s death. “Santiago’s death certificate showed she died from Severe Pulminary Edema, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, and Hypoxia Brain Injury. It is unknown how long she went without breathing. Inspectors found staff failed to provide proper post-anesthesia care and observation.”
Back in June “The Board of Physicians also cited Dominy for violating state regulations by contributing to an environment in which unlicensed workers were allowed to administer drugs and start abortions,” Walker reported. “Dominy told investigators it was standard procedure at the clinics, according to the regulatory filings.”
The decision to give Dominy back her license came two and one-half months after the MDBP lifted Panah’s suspension. Just as was the case with Dominy, the Board concluded that there was “no imminent danger to public health or safety posed by Dr. Panah practicing medicine at this time.”
Panah (who had been disciplined by the state three times before) was responsible for patient care on February 13, 2013, when Ms. Santiago, 12 and one-half weeks pregnant, came in for an abortion.
Panah “previously had his license suspended by the board in 1988 for sexual contact with three patients and again in 1995 for sexual conduct with another patient,” the Daily Mail reported. “In 2011, he was placed on two years of probation by the board for failing to meet appropriate standards for delivery of quality medical and surgical care,” the AP reported
As NRL News Today previously reported, on May 4, an unlicensed employee at the Baltimore facility performed an ultrasound that revealed the woman was carrying more than one baby. The employee gave the woman misoprostol—a prostaglandin–after which Basco arrived and concluded she needed a surgical abortion because the multiple babies had made her uterus larger. According to online documents, “Basco told the patient she would have to go elsewhere for a surgical abortion.”
“Regulatory filings said the patient didn’t receive a safe discharge plan, which could have led to ‘serious or life-threatening’ harm,” Walker reported.
The abortion clinics were initially shut down in March. After being reopened, they were again shuttered in early May, following an investigation by the Office of Health Care Quality which had received an anonymous complaint about the Baltimore abortion clinic.
“The investigation found that it was common practice to administer the drug misoprostol to induce an abortion in patients 11 weeks or more pregnant even if the patient has not been seen by a doctor and there was no physician at the clinic,” the Sun’s Walker reported . The other abortion clinics owned by OB/GYN Care were looked into and their licenses were pulled as well.