Friday, February 29, 2008

Haskell, the PBA pioneer, is unlicensed, and NAF seems okay with that

Pro-Life Law Firm Works to Shut the Doors on Illegal Abortion Center in Ohio (italics mine)

On Friday, February 29, ... the Thomas More Society, will reveal in a press conference that the Ohio Department of Health has revoked the license of the Women's Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio on February 14, 2008. This abortion facility, the last in Dayton, is owned and operated by Dr. Martin Haskell, nationally known for his pioneering and promotion of the partial birth abortion method. Despite having its license revoked, the facility is still in operation illegally. The Thomas More Society is preparing a Citizens Action Lawsuit to ask the courts to close the center if it continues to operate in violation of state laws. ....

Haskell's abortion facility performs approximately 2,600 abortions annually and has not been able to comply with Ohio's requirement that clinics not within a hospital must have a hospital transfer agreement to properly care for patients who are injured during abortions. This legal requirement applies to all free-standing surgical facilities in Ohio, not just abortion facilities. Dr. Haskell tried unsuccessfully to obtain an agreement; however because he is not an OB-GYN and does not have admitting privileges at any Dayton-area hospitals he was denied.


Haskell has been fighting state officials since 1999, when it was first discovered by a routine records search that he was operating without a license. Dr. Haskell brought his case before state and federal trial and appeals courts as well as state agencies and has repeatedly lost his bid to evade licensing and compliance with Ohio law. ....

Note: Despite not being licensed by the state, despite not having admitting privileges at a hospital, this abortion mill still manages to be a member of the National Abortion Federation. Check their "provider" search page.

Elsewhere on NAF's web site, they guide you through how to find a high-quality abortionist. The number one question on their list is, "Is the provider licensed by the state?" In the case of at least this member, the answer is a resounding "NO!" And it has been "NO!" since at least 1999.

Further down the page, NAF assures visitors:

In order to become a member, a clinic must complete a rigorous application process. Member clinics have agreed to comply with our standards for quality and care, updated annually in our Clinical Policy Guidelines, which set the evidence-based standards for abortion care in North America. NAF periodically conducts site visits to confirm that our clinics are in compliance with our guidelines.

Here's where it gets really interesting: I went through the Clinical Policy Guidelines, and didn't find anyplace a requirement, or even a recommendation, that the facility be licensed the the state. Ditto for any requirement or recommendation that the physician have hospital admitting privileges. So I guess operating illegally, and just shipping her off to the emergency room and foisting off her care on whoever is on duty there, fit in with how NAF does things.

I also didn't notice -- though I didn't read through very thoroughly so I might have missed it -- any requirement that transfers be done by ambulance, or that the patient's condition be adequately relayed to the hospital staff.

Does anybody else find this creepy at best?

While we're on the topic of Haskell, here are summaries from my notes on him:

HASKELL, Dr. (William Mudd) Martin

A deposition regarding Marty Lynn R. has Haskell admitting that at his facility, pregnancy tests are performed "Most times, but not necessarily," prior to an abortion. Haskell admitted failure to perform differential diagnosis for a presenting problem of post-abortion tenderness, chills, and fever. In Marty Lynn's case, he said, he performed an exam, then administered antibiotics. (Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Case No. 92-2709; American Medical News 7-5-93)

Medical news story reports he says most of the abortions he does are done for reasons other than medical indications, and that his qualms about third-trimester abortions are "only for technical reasons, not for emotional reasons of fetal development." A news article indicated that a witness who allegedly observed 17 other procedures told police that one infant girl of 21 or 22 weeks gestation had emerged alive before the procedure had been completed, and survived approximately 20 minutes on September 21, 1989. The police did not prosecute because it was the student observer's word against Haskell's. Haskel claimed that her complaint was a personal attack because he does abortions. The student responded, "I don't want this to sound like I'm a freak antiabortionist. I don't want to sound like a radical," but said that she had gotten permission to observe abortions because she thought she would like to be nurse or doctor specializing in abortions. (Associated Press 12-11-89)

Pamela F. alleged that she underwent an abortion February 29, 1988, at The Women's Center, Cincinnati. She faulted Haskell with negligence resulting in missed or septic abortion requiring hospitalization and incursion of large medical bills. (Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Case No. A8901734)

Tena C. alleged that she underwent an abortion by Haskell at Women's Center, Cincinnati, October 7, 1977. She faulted Haskell with failure to take a proper medical history, failure to provide informed consent, failure to make a proper diagnosis, performing a negligent abortion procedure, and failure to advise her of proper post-operative instructions. These shortcomings, she said resulting in pain, emotional distress, and permanent injury. A deposition in this case indicates retained fetal parts, a tear in Tena's uterus and bladder, infection, sepsis, and medical bills in excess of $7000. Tena settled out of court. Haskell admitted in a deposition regarding that Tena's questions were answered by the receptionist, not by a doctor. Haskell described his receptionist as "a lay person that has had some experience in the methods we follow at the Women's Center."(Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Case No. A7802715)

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