Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus has long been a target of anti-choice activists for her work assisting the late Dr. George Tiller
, providing him second opinions on some pregnancy terminations as required under Kansas law. Because of her work with Tiller, in 2006 Operation Rescue activists filed a complaint against Neuhaus with the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts, the medical licensing board that eventually revoked Neuhaus’ medical license. Just this week, a Kansas judge overturned that revocation in a decision that illustrates the deeply political campaign waged against medical professionals in states with anti-choice activists appointed to medical review boards.
As reported by the Associated Press, Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis ruled specifically that the State Board of Healing Arts had failed to show that mental health exams provided by Neuhaus in 2003 were inadequate. Operation Rescue had challenged Neuhaus’ records of exams provided to 11 patients, ages 10 to 18, who needed abortion care. The complaint before the board claimed Neuhaus’ sparse records proved that she had failed to meet the standard of care in diagnosing each of the 11 patients with a serious mental health issue and that abortion was advisable.
Neuhaus defended her care and argued that she kept many details of those patients and exams out of record for concerns over patient privacy. Judge Theis ultimately agreed with Neuhaus and ruled that while her record keeping was deficient, the conclusion reached by the hearing officer of the state’s medical board that Nehaus’ care was inadequate came “solely on an inference” from problems with those records. “In this Court’s view, such an inference is too slim, too frail, and too conjectural to support any of his conclusions reached beyond a breach of adequate record keeping,” the court wrote.
The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts can appeal the decision to the state court of appeals or it can vote to start over and take up Neuhaus’ case again. Should Neuhaus want to practice medicine in the state again, even after this order, she will
have to file paperwork with the board to be licensed again.
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