Judge: Doctor Who Killed Woman in Botched Abortion Must Stop Doing Them
by Steven Ertelt
January 8, 2010
Anaheim, CA (LifeNews.com) — A California medical board says an abortion practitioner who killed a woman last year in a botched abortion must stop doing them. However, to the chagrin of pro-life advocates, a judge did not revoke the medical license of Andrew Rutland, as happened years ago before reinstating it.
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
Rutland faced a Thursday hearing in front of the California Medical Board at a hearing in San Diego after documents showed Rutland killed a woman during an abortion by administering anesthesia to her and not knowing the proper dosage.
A judge yesterday ordered Rutland to stop doing abortions until a more thorough hearing on the case could be held.
Administrative Law Judge James Ahler stopped short of granting the request from attorneys representing the medical board to suspend Rutland’s medical license while the hearing moves forward.
The Los Angeles Times indicated Deputy Atty. Gen. Douglas Lee argued Rutland, in the failed abortion case, "committed repeated negligent acts in his care and treatment" of the woman who died.
Lee pointed out that Rutland has a history of dishonesty and corruption. He has lied to patients and authorities repeatedly, according to the formal revocation petition filed against him on Christmas Eve.
The patient, Ying Chen, 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.
In a written decision, Ahler said Rutland’s doing the second-trimester abortion in a facility inadequately equipped for emergencies "casts doubt on his professional judgment," according to the Times.
Judge Ahler said Rutland "presents a risk of danger and there is a likelihood of injury to the public" if he continues practicing medicine and he disagreed with Rutland’s contention that he was not actually performing an abortion at the time.
Rutland’s attorney, Peter Osinoff, told the judge he could consider the 100 abortions Rutland has done without incident during the last two years.
Operation Rescue president Troy Newman told LifeNews.com he was disappointed that Rutland’s license wasn’t revoked at least temporarily.
"Rutland is a proven liar. How do we know he will comply with the judge’s order to stop doing abortions? Who is going to enforce this order? Are the authorities simply going to take him at his word?" Newman said. "We are outraged that Rutland’s license was not fully suspended. This decision places women’s lives at risk."
Also present during yesterday’s hearing were Scott and Kathy Broussard of San Juan Capistrano, whose daughter, Jillian, died as a result of a forceps delivery by Rutland.
That incident led to the revocation of Rutland’s license in 2003. They expressed disappointment at the reinstatement of his medical license in 2007 and at yesterday’s decision.
"I think his victims and the public needed to get full peace of mind today, and they didn’t," Kathy Broussard told the Orange County Register. "He still has a practice in Anaheim. He’s still allowed to do gynecological exams and consultations. It’s appalling."
The California Medical Board will meet at a later date to determine if Rutland’s license should be permanently revoked.
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.
Newman 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.
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