Medical Board Pursues Case Against Practitioner in Botched Abortion Death

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 30, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Medical Board Pursues Case Against Practitioner in Botched Abortion Death

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 30
, 2010

Sacramento, CA ( — The Medical Board of California this week amended its complaint against abortion practitioner Andrew Rutland to include the charge of homicide in connection with the death of an Asian woman who died from a botched abortion he performed at his facility.

The action from the medical board follows on the heels of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office reclassifying Ying Chen’s death as a homicide.

Now, the medical board as scheduled a February 2011 hearing to consider whether or not to revoke Rutland’s medical license.

Rutland killed Chen by administering anesthesia to her and not knowing the proper dosage after she visited his 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.

Ying 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 response to the reclassification of Chen’ death as a homicide, the pro-life group Operation Rescue informed today that the abortion practitioner is blaming pro-life groups for his legal woes concerning the woman’s abortion-related death.

Rutland sent an angry letter to a list of elected officials and others, including Oprah Winfrey, demanding an investigation into "clandestine collaborations of national antiabortion group organizations and local antiabortion activists with the Medical Board of California."

Rutland singles out Operation Rescue and complains the pro-life group used "clandestine political collaborations" to force several abortion practitioners out of business. Rutland says everyone from the Medical Examiner, to the hospital, to the police officer who investigated Chen’s death were all involved in some plot against him.

Operation Rescue president Troy Newman responded to saying, "Rutland has proven himself to be a dishonest man who presents an ongoing danger to the public. It was his own negligence and attitude that he is above the law that has landed him in repeated trouble with the Medical Board."

"Rutland complains his problems are somehow the result of an anti-abortion plot," Newman said. "He is upset that authorities would hold him accountable to the law, but what he really wants is to be treated as if no laws apply to him. People are dying due to his shoddy work and Operation Rescue is proud of any small part we may have played in bringing him to justice."

Rutland has a long history of Board discipline and other problems.

His medical license was revoked in 2003 for severing a baby’s spinal column during a forceps delivery, then lying to the parents by telling them that their baby suffered a stroke. The baby later died. His license was reinstated in 2007 and Rutland was placed on five years probation with the restriction that he operate only under the supervision of another physician.

The case concerning Chen’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.

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 in February.

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 Board is pressing forward with a full Board hearing to revoke Rutland’s license "as expeditiously as possible."

After the February 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."


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