Abortion Practitioner Keeps License Despite Violating Court Order, Medical Board
by Steven Ertelt
February 19, 2010
San Diego, CA (LifeNews.com) — Southern California abortion practitioner Andrew Rutland faced a court hearing yesterday, but a judge allowed him to keep his medical license despite violating a court order and the state medical board. Rutland killed a woman during an abortion by administering anesthesia to her and not knowing the proper dosage.
The case concerning the woman’s legal abortion death is pending and the medical board and a Administrative Law Judge James Ahler told Rutland to stop doing abortions until its conclusion.
However, Rutland was caught in an undercover sting operation scheduling an abortion in violation of the order to stop doing them while his disciplinary case proceeded.
At an emergency hearing yesterday, Judge Ahler allowed Rutland to keep his restricted medical license and indicated that he may continue to dispense the dangerous abortion drug RU 486, also known as mifepristone.
The California Medical Board had asked for the emergency suspension of Rutland’s license after one of its investigators caught him scheduling a surgical abortion at a Chula Vista, California, abortion center earlier this month.
Rutland was barred from performing abortions and surgeries in January at his acupuncture clinic in San Gabriel and the board interpreted the order to include drug-induced abortions.
The judge rejected arguments by the Board that medical and surgical abortions pose similar risks.
"Folks, this is not a referendum on abortion," he said.
The California Medical Board has stated that it will now press forward with a full Board hearing to revoke Rutland’s license "as expeditiously as possible.
After the hearing, Kathleen Nicholls of the California Medical Board commented, "How many patients have to die before a doctor is shut down? It’s unfortunate someone else is going to have to die to change this order."
That is the same sentiment Operation Rescue president Troy Newman has.
"This is one of those times when one has to shake his head and ask what the judge was thinking," he told LifeNews.com today. "Rutland has a record of human destruction a mile long and he continues to flout the law and the restrictions put on him. He is a danger to the public."
"When Rutland injures or kills another person, and with his track record, that could be any day now, Judge Alher will have that on his conscience," Newman continued.
Operation Rescue had conducted its own undercover investigation of Rutland’s Chula Vista clinic and recorded a telephone conversation on February 3, between Rutland employee "Rhea" and a woman posing as a potential abortion patient.
During that conversation, Rhea offered the option of surgical or medical abortions to the caller and assured her Rutland would be handling the abortion.
While Rutland claims that his daughter now does all the surgical abortions, there was never any mention that any other physician would be involved in the abortion during the recorded conversation, Newman informed LifeNews.com.
Operation Rescue immediately contacted the Medical Board and submitted a copy of the recording.
Two weeks after the court order, a medical board examiner called Rutland with a request for an abortion at his Women’s Choice Family Planning Clinic in Chula Vista. Rutland suggested she allow him to give her the dangerous abortion drug RU 486, which has already killed more than a dozen women and injured thousands of women in the United States alone.
When the medical examiner declined and suggested a surgical abortion, Rutland immediately scheduled one for the next day.
Still, Rutland’s attorney Paul M. Hittelman, according to an AP report, said the abortion practitioner did nothing wrong because he didn’t actually do the abortion.
"We believe nothing was done that would violate the order as amended or in its original form, for that matter," he said.
Rutland has a history of problems and he first 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
The patient in the case where Rutland killed her saw Ying Chen visiting 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.
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