Saturday, January 31, 2015

Why Did Abortion-Rights Groups Tolerate This Clinic and its Pervy, Quacky Docs?

State suspends Lathrup Village abortion clinic license after failed health inspection

According to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, the state has suspended the license of a local clinic where abortions are performed after authorities discovered several health code violations. .... According to a document sent to the facility by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, the center failed to maintain a sterile facility and inform a patient of risks, consent or complications of a procedure. Workers allegedly were performing charting improperly, and did not have adequate supplies and tools, among other things.

Dr. Jacob Kalo owns the facility and Dr. Reginald Sharpe, who was also mentioned in the article, evidently does abortions there. Kalo has an unsavory history. He was investigated in 1998 after two patients reported that he had sexually abused them. More on him elsewhere.

Snapshot taken through a chain link fence of a balding middle-aged Black man wearing eyeglasses.
Reginald Sharpe
Dr. Reginald Sharpe has not, to my knowledge, been accused of sexual abuse, but he does have a history of malpractice, including the death of a 26-year-old patient in 2008. Life Site News reported that Sharpe had perforated the patient's uterus, and once the instruments were inside her pelvic cavity had managed to cut a uterine blood vessel and lacerate her intestines and her liver. Because I have only just now learned of this patient's death, I will begin searching for substantiating documents. Since the woman's family sued, there will be court documents regarding the case.

Sharpe had already been reprimanded in 2005 for "general negligence or failure to exercise due care, including negligent delegation to or supervision of employees or other individuals" at his facility. The Board of Osteopathic Medicine detailed Sharpe's care of patient "R. C." I will refer to her as "Reba."

On February 24, 2005, Reba had gone to Sharpe's facility, Women's Advisory Center, for an abortion to be preformed by Dr. Rudolfo Finkelstein. On the first day, Finkelstein performed an ultrasound and told Reba that she was 23.5 weeks pregnant and needed to undergo an immediate abortion. Reba returned on March 1 for Finkelstein to insert laminaria (small sterile seaweed sticks used to dilate the cervix) in preparation for the procedure the following day. Sharpe then told Reba that he would be the one to perform the abortion. 

On March 2, Sharpe administered a sedative then began the procedure. After a few minutes, Sharpe told Reba that the fetus was too high in the uterus and he would have to let her rest quietly for a while so that he could complete the abortion when the fetus was in a better position. She was moved to the recovery room. Fifteen minutes later, Sharpe checked in on Reba, then left the facility. 

Over the next several hours, Reba had painful contractions and profuse bleeding. She asked staff to contact Sharpe, and they kept telling her that he'd be back soon. The only care they provided was to move Reba to a different room and replace the bloody bedding. Reba began asking staff to either let her mother come back to her or to call an ambulance, but this request was refused. At 12:20 p.m., about three hours after Sharpe had left, Reba screamed for her mother, who heard her and demanded to be brought to her daughter. Reba was in full labor. Her mother asked the assistants to help, and when they refused she delivered the weak but live-born infant herself. 

Reba's mother asked the staff to call an ambulance, but they refused so she called from her own cell phone. EMS staff were denied entrance to the building. While they waited to get in, Reba's mother spoke to Sharpe on the phone, and he said he'd be there in five minutes. 

Eight minutes after EMS arrived, clinic staff grudgingly unlocked the door but told the medics that their help wasn't needed because Sharpe would be there soon. They demanded access to the patient. They found her with a racing pulse and alarmingly low blood pressure, the placenta still in place and the 27-week baby's cord not cut. After waiting more than 15 minutes for the arrival of Sharpe -- who had spoken to medics on the phone and insisted that they not transport Reba to the hospital -- the medics took Reba to the ambulance and moved to a nearby parking lot. They assessed Reba again. Her blood pressure was still low and her pulse was still high, so EMS gave up on waiting for Reba's doctor and transported her to the hospital, where a doctor attended to the delivery of the placenta and assessed the baby, which had died.

The fact that anybody would allow this man to treat patients is alarming in and of itself. Even more alarming is the fact that prochoicers never investigated this clinic and the backgrounds of the doctors that patients were trusting with their care. Abortion-rights groups never seem to have trouble pulling together the resources to go after prolife pregnancy centers, despite the fact that they've never been able to document a single case of one of those centers causing a woman's injury or death. But they somehow show no interest in checking up on abortion facilities that endanger, injure, and kill women.

What are their priorities?

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