Philadelphia, PA – Operation Rescue joins with the Christian Defense Coalition, Generation Life, and other groups in calling for federal inspections of every abortion clinic in America and for Congressional hearings into the political corruption that has covered up for squalid mills and dangerous abortion practices in the wake of recent abortion scandals that have claimed the lives of women and newborn infants.
“The illegal and dangerous practices discovered at Gosnell’s ‘house of horrors’ are not isolated incidents,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. ....
This story of abortion horrors come at the same time that other abortion abuses are making news, adding urgency to the call for inspections and a Congressional investigation. Here is a partial listing.
I'd not known about Hamid Sheikh. In some ways he parallels Gosnell in that his filthy, unsafe abortion mill was also discovered during an investigation into other issues, in Sheikh's' case, Medicaid fraud. There was also the issue of a failure by the medical board to address the problems when they were first reported. Here's a video news report:
New Jersey abortionist Steven Chase Brigham’s medical license was suspended last September after an investigation into a botched abortion uncovered that he was operating an illegal late-term abortion ring that spanned two states. Police raided his Maryland clinic and discovered the bodies of 35 late-term babies that were illegally aborted. Utah abortionist Nicola Riley, Brigham’s associate, was formally charged last week by the Maryland Board of Physicians for her part in the criminal abortion scheme and for lying about a felony conviction and incarceration in order to fraudulently obtain a medical license. Complaints have been filed in Utah demanding her suspension there as well. Massachusetts abortionist Rapin Osathanondh was convicted and jailed last September for manslaughter in the abortion death of Laura Hope Smith. Osathanondh lacked trained staff and emergency equipment to save Laura’s life after she suffered a reaction to anesthesia. California abortionist Andrew Rutland, who was accused by the state medical board of homicide in the botched abortion death of Ying Chen, has agreed to surrender his medical license on February 11, 2011. Rutland continues to be under criminal investigation and could face murder charges. Kentucky abortionist Hamid Sheikh, whose medical license was revoked amid revelations that he was running a “hellish abortion operation,” is scheduled to go to trial February 8, 2011, on four counts of fraud for bilking Medicaid out of fees for services he did not render. Nebraska late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart remains under criminal investigation after former employees blew the whistle on his illegal and shoddy abortion practices in 2009. His Nebraska medical license could be at stake. A complaint has also been filed in Maryland, where he misrepresented the true nature of his practice to authorities there in order to gain licensure.
According to this medical board document, dated April 26, 2009:
The Board had a consultant review twenty-two of Sheikh's patient charts, and that Complaint noted that the consultant's overall opinion of Sheikh's medical practice was that it was "clearly below minimum standards" and that Sheikh had committed gross negligence. The consultant stated the Sheikh "constitutes a danger to health, welfare, and safety of the physician's practice.
Sheikh was being investigated by the Mecaid Fraud and Abuse Control Division in the Attorney General's Office, which found "additional issues of concern" which were "numerous and relate to quality of care, health and safety standards, and regulartoy compliance." Specifically, they found "expired medications, un-sterile equipment, unsanitary conditions, missing or inoperable equipment necessary for either general medical and/or emergency situations, concerns with proper counseling/instruction standards prior to the performance of certain medical procedures, etc."
"Inspection of Dr. Iskh's office by investigation found it to be dirty and disorganized. No stethoscopes, thermometers, biohazard containers, or sharp containers were found in either exam room. Many of the medications in the office were grossly outdated. The lone log of I.V. fluids expired in 1998. Oxygen cylinders located in the exam rooms had no regulator. Counter tops were dirty and rusty."
"The maintenance of medical records were abysmal." Sheikh, as his patients had asserted, did not record pre-op, intra-op, or post-op vitals. There were no operative records for the abortions. Medications were inadequately documented if they were documented at all.
The documents relate the stories patients reporting unbearable pain, being scolded for crying out in pain because they were scaring the other patients, lack of informed consent, lack of pre-abortion physical examinations, being given dirty towels or sheets to cover themselves, and having their insurance billed for procedures they'd already paid for. In addition to the extreme physical pain, the patients reported being highly emotionally wounded by their ordeals.
One patient, there for a non-abortion procedure, was troubled by the bloody covers and instruments, and the fact that Sheikh and his assistants didn't wear gloves when examining and treating her. She said she had to tell Sheikh to put a cover on the ultrasound probe before inserting it in her vagina. As this patient went into another room to await the results of her ultrasound, another patient was taken into the exam room. The non-abortion patient heard this patient screaming, and when she emerged from the exam room, she was wrapped in the blood-stained "metallic blue blanket" that the ultrasound patient had refused to wrap herself in. This patient, in obvious pain, had blood running down her legs. Sheikh, with a large blood stain on his knee, informed the ultrasound patient that she had a retroverted uterus and should have sex with her husband "doggie style" 4-5 times daily to "fix it." This patient went to another doctor who confirmed the diagnosis of retroverted uterus but had never encountered any medical literature recommending Shheikh's recommended treatment.
Another patient, seeking treatment in November of 2007 for spotting after a miscarriage, was given paperwork that asked very few questions about her medical history but referred to abortions. This patient questioned that, and "was reassured no abortions were performed." Sheikh gave her no pain medication and performed a D&C that caused her so much pain that her sister, who had accompanied her, feared she would pass out. After being sent home the patient expelled blood and clots and had to seek follow up care from other medical professionals. Sheikh, who charged $400 for early abortions, charged this uninsured patient $1000 for the D&C that had only made her symptoms worse.
An abortion patient was asked for no medical history other than the date of her last period. There was no protective cover on the vaginal ultrasound probe; the patient later developed an infection. The patient "had to be held down and she passed out during the procedure. Dr. Sheikh must have encountered some type of difficulties during the procedure due to the fact that he left the room and returned with other instruments, which appeared to be like a knitting needle. Dr. Sheikh instructed her not to scream during the procedure and requested that she leave via the back door in order not to upset the other patients." She was told not to go to any other medical facility for follow-up because "the would be judgmental due to her having an abortion." This patient paid $400 cash, and learned that Sheikh billed her insurance company for services he had not provided. But, this medical board investigation notes, a prior medical board review of this patient's case by another medical board investigator found no violations of standards in Sheikh's treatment of this patient. This led the board to question that first consultant's judgment.
The board investigated Sheikh's questionable billing practices. He claimed that he provided his patients with Lidocaine prior to their abortions, but this wasn't documented on patient charts and there was no Lidocaine on the premises. When pressed about this, he retrieved a large amount of grossly expired Lidocaine from is vehicle. What medications he did have on site were several years out of date. The only medications on site that were not past their expiration date were birth control pills. The only bag of IV fluids on the premises had expired in 1998.
Sheikh also had no transfer agreements with a hospital or ambulance service to provide care should a patient experience a medical emergency. He had none of the state-mandated informed-consent material on site.