Doctor Who Killed Woman in Botched Abortion May Lose California Medical License
by Steven Ertelt
January 6, 2010
Anaheim, CA (LifeNews.com) — An abortion practitioner who already lost his medical license once may lose it against because of a botched abortion lost year. Andrew Rutland lost his medical license in 2002 and may lose it again for medical negligence in a case that saw him flippantly treat an abortion patient.
Rutland surrendered his license in October 2002 after a two-year state investigation that resulted in accusations of negligence, misconduct and incompetence in his treatment of 20 pregnant women, newborns and gynecological patients
He only admitted negligence in one case, that of Jillian Broussard, who suffered a torn spinal cord and died a week after she was delivered by forceps.
Rutland agreed not to contest the other accusations, which included negligence in the death of another baby, scaring patients into unnecessary hysterectomies, botching surgeries, lying to patients, falsifying medical records, over-prescribing painkillers and having sex with a patient in his office.
After a medical board hearing during which Rutland apologized for his actions in the Broussard case, the medical board’s Division of Medical Quality approved the reinstatement of Rutland’s license with a provision that he be supervised by another physician.
Now, Rutland faces a Thursday hearing in front of the California Medical Board at a hearing in San Diego, board spokeswoman Candis Cohen told the Orange County Register newspaper.
According to documents the newspaper obtained, Rutland killed a woman during an abortion by administering anesthesia to her and not knowing the proper dosage.
Rutland also stands accused of operating an unlicensed office and performing a surgery outside a hospital without proper medical malpractice insurance.
The paper indicated an unidentified woman visited Rutland’s San Gabriel facility last July for a second-trimester abortion.
Rutland injected lidocaine, a local anesthetic, in her cervix and the woman began to have an immediate reaction. The abortion practitioner began to perform CPR but the board documents say there was a "significant delay" in him calling 911 for emergency medical help for the woman.
The woman was in cardiac arrest when the ambulance arrived and was taken to a hospital, where she died six days later.
An autopsy revealed Rutland gave the woman the wrong dosage of the anesthesia.
The documents, according to the Register newspaper, accuse him of giving the anesthetic "without knowledge of the safe dosage range or maximum safe dose," failing to recognize the signs of toxicity, failing to provide appropriate resuscitation efforts, and failing to report the death to the board.
Cohen said the board’s attorney is asking a judge to suspend Rutland’s medical license while the board examines the abortion death further.
Rutland came under fire in October from pro-life advocates who said he was apparently violating the terms of a previous probation.
Unable to get work in legitimate medical fields because of the probation, Rutland opened an abortion center in southern California. ABC 10 reporter Charisse Yu attempted to interview Rutland about the new abortion center and caught him arriving at the facility with no other physician around.
Troy Newman, the president of the pro-life group Operation Rescue, appealed to medical officials in California to investigate whether Rutland is violating the terms of his probation.
"This news report shows yet another in a long line of abortionists operating illegally," he told LifeNews.com.
"We demand that the Medical Board act immediately to revoke his medical license. We also demand that the District Attorney’s office look into filing criminal charges against Rutland," he said at the time.
At his hearing in 2007, Rutland told the court that he hopes to finish his medical career by practicing with his daughter, Dr. Costanza Rutland, also an obstetrician-gynecologist.
Rutland opened the abortion center in the same location as the one formerly operated by Bertha Bugarin, who was recently convicted of doing illegal, unlicensed abortions at her abortion business.
With the abortion practitioners her centers hired having their own legal problems, Bugarin took it upon herself to do abortions. As LifeNews.com reported in April, Bugarin was sentenced to 6 years, 8 months on nine felony counts of doing abortions without a medical license.
"Rutland and Bugarin and the rest of their cohorts are not exceptions to the rule," Newman said. "Jailing these people is the only way to stop them from preying on vulnerable women."
"In the meantime, women must be warned of the dangers of abortion clinics in our nation. They are staffed by shoddy abortionists and unqualified workers who are the bottom of the barrel in the medical world that routinely lie to women about the safety of their operations," he continued.
"Women deserve better than this, and we urge anyone considering abortion to instead contact an abortion alternatives center in their area and get the help they need," Newman told LifeNews.com in October.
Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com
Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.