Topeka, KS – The Kansas State Board of Hearing Arts completed its disciplinary hearings on Friday for abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus, who is accused of making improper referrals for late-term abortions to George Tiller’s now-closed Women’s Health Care Services in 2003.
Neuhaus seemed uninterested in Friday’s hearings, and displayed a continued pattern of disrespect by often texting or otherwise playing with her cell phone under the table during the proceedings.
KSBHA prosecutor Reese Hays concluded cross examination of Neuhaus’ expert witness, brought in to counter testimony from Dr. Liza Gold, who stated repeatedly during earlier questioning, that Neuhaus’ records and the supposed mental health evaluations of eleven late-term patients ages 10-18 fell below the standard of care.
Hays skillfully used Dr. K. Allen Greiner’s testimony to methodically make his case that Neuhaus’ records were woefully lacking in content and the basis for mental health diagnoses that were used to justify otherwise illegal late-term abortions. Kansas law at that time required that a second, unaffiliated physician concur that the pregnant woman would suffer “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” if she continued the pregnancy.
Greiner agreed that Neuhaus’ records do not document that she conducted complete mental health exams, mental status exams, physical exams to rule out a medical reason for symptoms, or order any lab work to determine if medication was a factor. The file for “Patient 8” contained no diagnosis or evidence that any examination was made by Neuhaus. Two other files contained diagnoses made well after the abortion process had begun.
Neuhaus plugged “yes or no” answers into a computer program called “PsychManager Lite” which generated a printout and calculated a psychiatric diagnosis. The print out from the computer program was placed in the record in place of a true medical record that should have contained information, including Neuhaus’ personal observances, to document her diagnoses. Neuhaus also seemed to rely heavily on intake forms produced by unlicensed clinic employees who interviewed prospective patients over the telephone.
Comments from patients recorded in the intake forms were used as indicators of mental health disease, including statements like “Some nights I can sleep and some nights I can’t.” Another patient expressed “a little bit of guilt” over her situation of been an unwed pregnant teenager. Yet another did not participate in basketball because she could not run as fast being in her third trimester of pregnancy. This was used to illustrate a “loss of interest” in activities.
Under questioning by Hays, Greiner agreed that many of the “symptoms” could have been attributable to normal feelings or symptoms common to women in their late stages of pregnancy instead of mental health disease.
Occasionally, Greiner would attempt to defend a particular point, but Hays would refer him to his deposition where he made statements damaging to Neuhaus, which Greiner had to admit were true.
The disciplinary case is based on a complaint filed by Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger in 2006 and amended in February, 2007. In April, 2010, KSHE filed an 11-count petition based on their investigation opened by Sullenger’s complaint.
Attorneys for KDHE and for Neuhaus have until January 17, 2011, to submit their final information to the presiding officer, who will made a recommendation within 30 days, in time for any disciplinary order to go to the full Board for finalization in late February. Neuhaus faces the possibility of license revocation.