Saturday, May 13, 2006

Ulrich George Klopfer back in the news

Second front in abortion war?
Dr. Ulrich George Klopfer is juggling buildings in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, in an apparent attempt to avoid having new clinic regulations apply to his practice.

Not that he'd follow them anyway:

Ulrich George Klopfer was one of many quack abortionists practicing in the Chicago area in the late 1970s and 1980s. One patient, Patricia T., alleged that Klopfer misdiagnosed her fetus as dead, obtaining her permission for an evacuation that killed what had actually been a healthy fetus.

Patient Brenda C. filed suit against Klopfer, alleging unspecified bodily injury related to an abortion Klopfer performed January 4-5, 1985, at Women's Pavilion in South Bend, Indiana. Klopfer had estimated the gestational age as 10 weeks, but Brenda had actually been 14 weeks pregnant. He used an improper abortion technique. Also, a piece of laminaria broke off and was retained in Brenda's uterus. She had to be hospitalized to remove the laminaria and complete the abortion. (St. Joseph Superior Court Docket No. R-9706; LaPorte County Superior Court Cause No. 46D01-8701-CP001)

Patient Bettijean Z. sued for injury after an abortion performed by either Klopfer, under the supervision of Stewart Marcowitz, at Oak Lawn Surgical Center. The abortion was performed July 3, 1982. Bettijean faulted her caregivers with failure to administer anesthesia and with operating an unlicensed facility.

Bettijean said that she'd been given an injection "to dry up my mouth so you wouldn't get nauseous and then also to relax me; and put in another room for a few minutes and then sent down to wait in a waiting room, sat in the elevator. I thought that was not real wise. I was a little groggy, and any of the patients could have fallen or wandered out of the building or whatever. ...when I was in the surgical room, I didn't feel like there was any particular care as to cleanliness. Doctor Marcowitz was not in any type of surgical garb, just in regular plain clothes."

Bettijean also said, "I felt the procedure was started too quickly. I was -- I was told that you could ask questions or the doctors would talk; and by the time ... Doctor Klopfer was done with a very quick examination, he was all ready to start .... It was freezing cold in there. I asked the nurse or attendant when I was taken in there to have a blanket and she kind of laughed and said, oh, you wouldn't need that for very long. You will be plenty warm in a little while."

Bettijean further described her ordeal: "Extreme pain. Doctor Marcowitz was there to hold my hand and tell me I should lay perfectly still because if I didn't ... I would have the risk of perforating my uterus and then I would go to the hospital and probably have to have a hysterectomy."

Bettijean had to be treated elsewhere on July 15, and was hospitalized on July 20 with heavy bleeding. The actual identity of her abortionist was kept from Bettijean until September 4, 1984.

When asked how often he had "performed or assisted in performing operations similar to the operation involved in the alleged occurrence," Marcowitz replied, "None." Klopfer, in his deposition, stated that Marcowitz was usually in the room during abortions, mostly to "provide emotional support to the patient," but also to assist him by getting instruments, and he would monitor pulse as he held patient's hand. Klopfer identified handwriting on pre-op exam form as not his own, and said he did not know whose handwriting it was; Marcowitz's signature was on the state health department abortion reporting form as the aborting physician. The state reporting form was incomplete, and did not indicate the reason for the abortion or if there were complications. (Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 84L 14029)

Patient Gloria T. sued in 1982, identifying Klopfer as the doctor who perforated her uterus, causing infection, fever, vomiting, and inability to urinate. Gloria had to be treated at a hospital for an abscess.

Patient Rhonda C. alleged incomplete abortion and negligence by Klopfer, Ming Kow Hah and Henry Meunier during her 1978 abortion at Chicago Loop Mediclinic.

Patient Dennelle L. alleged that she suffered an incomplete abortion by Klopfer and/or Stewart Marcovitz on April 7, 1979. She needed treatment at a hospital to remove the remainder of the dead fetus. (Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 79L18615)

Patient Mary H. alleged that she underwent an abortion by Klopfer and/or Henry J. Meunier at Chicago Loop Mediclinic on August 15, 1979. She suffered a punctured uterus requiring corrective treatment. She faulted Chicago Loop with having improperly trained staff, improper facilities and surgical instruments, and failure to maintain sterility and cleanliness of instruments. (Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 79 L 26661)

Klopfer was licensed in Florida, but that license now shows "null and void". He also let his Iowa license expire. Ditto for his Illinois license. He still has an active Indiana license, showing no disciplinary actions.

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