Archive for Dr James Latham Peters

Abortionist put in jail

Posted in Abortionist, Abortionist arrested, pro-choice, Pro-choice law breakers, pro-choice violence with tags , , , , , , on March 8, 2013 by saynsumthn

James Latham PetersAN anaesthetist who infected 55 women with hepatitis C will spend the next decade in prison after a judge condemned his “truly reprehensible” behaviour.

James Latham Peters, 63, was working at a Melbourne abortion clinic when he passed the disease to his patients by injecting himself with syringes of fentanyl before administering the drug to them.

According to The Australian:

James Latham Peters, 63, was working at a Melbourne abortion clinic when he passed the disease to his patients by injecting himself with syringes of fentanyl before administering the drug to them.

He had a long history of drug addiction and was meant to be under constant supervision while working, but regular drug tests did not pick up his fentanyl abuse.

Victorian Supreme Court judge Terry Forrest this morning sentenced Peters to 14 years’ prison, with a minimum of 10 years before parole, and said the anaesthetist’s conduct had breached the great trust that patients place in doctors.

“As an anaesthetist, you must have known that this pernicious illness could be transmitted by the mixing of your blood into the bloodstream of another,” Justice Forrest said. ” I consider your conduct to be truly reprehensible and I view your moral culpability in relation to each offence as very high.”

Justice Forrest said criticisms of the Victorian Medical Board for its failure to supervise Peters were “by and large” justified.

The board was meant to supervise him from 1996, when his registration was temporarily suspended and he received a suspended sentence for forging prescriptions and using a drug of dependence, but it did not learn of his hepatitis until it received a letter from the Department of Health in 2010, after the women had been infected.

“The board relied on your honesty and their urine screening program failed in the way that I have explained,” Justice Forrest said.

“The physical damage caused by your conduct and the associated emotional harm cannot adequately be described by me in words.”

Abortion Doctor guilty of forgery

Posted in Abortion, abortion clinic safety, Abortion injury, Abortion Regulation, Abortionist, Outrage, pro-choice, Pro-choice law breakers, Pro-Life, Violence against women with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2010 by saynsumthn

Doctor guilty of forgery
RAFAEL EPSTEIN
April 14, 2010

THE Melbourne doctor who allegedly infected 12 patients with hepatitis C while working at an abortion clinic was convicted in 1996 for forging more than 100 prescriptions for the drug pethidine.

Health authorities are examining whether the Croydon Day Surgery should have been told about his conviction, and that he had been deregistered for more than a year in the 1990s.
Dr James Latham Peters worked at the surgery as an anesthetist since 2006. He allegedly infected patients with his own strain of hepatitis C.

More than 1140 patients to whom he administered anaesthetic have contacted the Health Department and had tests to see if they have contracted the disease. Dozens of patients treated by the anaesthetist have received test results showing they are not infected.

Sources say the Croydon Day Surgery did not know about his previous conviction. His employers had only been told that he had a personal issue around the abuse of intravenous drugs, but the Medical Board had Dr Peters listed as registered to practice.

In 1996 the Melbourne Magistrates Court was told that more than 100 prescriptions for painkillers were written in Dr Peters’ wife’s maiden name and false names. Dr Peters was found guilty on 20 charges, including obtaining pethidine by false representation and prescribing a drug for purposes other than treatment.

His wife Julia Peters was found guilty on 41 charges. Dr Peters was sentenced to six months in prison and his wife to three months. Both terms were suspended for 18 months. The court was told the drugs were used by Julia Peters.

Before he was convicted in 1996, Dr Peters had voluntarily surrendered his registration. The following year he was granted restricted medical registration by the board.
One woman given an anaesthetic by Dr Peters in August last year says staff at the Croydon clinic were ”fairly unprofessional from start to finish … just the way we were treated”.
”Andrea” told The Age she had asked Dr Peters for a mild anaesthetic so she would be awake throughout the procedure.

She claims Dr Peters said to her: ”Most women going through what you’re going through don’t want to remember any of it.”

Despite telling Dr Peters that she wished to remain awake because ”she didn’t trust these guys”, she says the dose administered did put her to sleep and she woke up after the termination. She told ABC radio she had since tested negative for hepatitis C.

The department and police are trying to determine how the patients at Croydon Day Surgery were infected. On Friday Victoria’s chief health officer, Dr John Carnie, said he referred the matter to police in March because he found it hard to imagine how the transmission of the virus had been accidental.

It is understood that there would have been no need for Dr Peters to reuse needles. There are strict procedures for infection control, but the number of needles used is not correlated with the number of procedures.

The Medical Board will not comment on Dr Peters’ issues with drug abuse. Its 2009 annual report shows that 22 doctors were involved in the board’s drug abuse program. The board assesses whether such doctors should be permitted to practice and whether there should be any limitations on their duties.

About 70 per cent of people infected with hepatitis C may develop a chronic form of the virus. Of these people, about one-fifth will develop cirrhosis – scarring of the liver that can lead to liver cancer.

Abortion doc accused of infecting female patients with Hepatitis C

Posted in Abortion, abortion clinic safety, Abortion complication, Abortion injury, Abortionist, pro-choice, pro-choice violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2010 by saynsumthn

Here’s another “Happy” abortionist and their sickening attitudes toward women !

Abortion clinic doctor infected women with hep C
By Alison Caldwell
Apr 9, 2010

Fears of a public health threat are being hosed down by authorities in Victoria after the revelation a doctor has been suspended from practice because 12 of his female patients have contracted Hepatitis C.

The anesthetist has the disease and police and the Medical Practitioners Board are investigating how it was transmitted to the women.

The Department of Human Services says DNA tests have linked the strain of the virus found in the women to the strain the doctor has.

The doctor has not been named, but he was working at an abortion clinic in Melbourne between June 2008 and December 2009.

Critics say the public should have been notified about the possibility of infection far sooner.

Hepatitis C takes a long time to surface. It can cause fatal liver problems and is very hard to treat.

People with the infection can pass it on if their blood gets under the skin or into the bloodstream of another person, possibly through the use of a shared syringe.

In this instance the anaesthetist passed his Hepatitis C onto 12 women, many of whom were pregnant when they were infected with the disease between June 2008 and December last year.

At the time the anaesthetist was working at the Croydon Day Surgery in outer east Melbourne.

Health authorities do not know how it happened. They do not believe anyone else has been infected but they cannot guarantee it.

Victoria’s chief health officer, Dr John Carnie, says other people who visited the surgery are being tested.

“I mean I am pretty confident that if there were any other notified cases we would have picked them up. But for completeness sake we are going to call these other people back and get them tested as well,” he said.

Accident or deliberate?

Dr Carnie says he cannot explain how 12 people could be infected by accident.

“Accidents might involve say one or two patients, but we are dealing with a cluster of 12 patients. So at this stage there is nothing in the processes and procedures at this clinic that would enable me to explain how it happened,” he said.

He says investigations began in December when three people presented with Hepatitis C who had each been treated at the clinic over a six-month period.
Officers asked for all staff involved in surgical procedures to be tested.

“All of the staff at the time tested negative except for one of their medical practitioners who happened to be overseas at that time,” Dr Carnie said.

“So on that person’s return from overseas we arranged for that person to be tested – and this was at the beginning of February – and the results were clear, the person was Hepatitis C positive.

“We then asked the lab to conduct what are called sequencing studies. What it means is comparing the structure of a virus that you get from patients and comparing that structure with the virus that was obtained from the doctor concerned; similar to I guess doing a kind of fingerprint matching if you like.

“And the laboratory has found that there is a clear link from a structural point of view between the viruses of the three patients that we initially identified and that of the doctor.”
Notification criticism

There are concerns authorities took too long to notify the public about the possibility of infection.

National president of the Maternity Coalition, Lisa Metcalfe, says it has taken a long time for authorities to act and women are vulnerable.

“Where medical practitioners have been acting inappropriately and it has taken the Health Department some time – I mean 12 cases is a lot of women to be exposed to this kind of alleged abuse,” she said.

“It has taken a long time for them to actually act on it and to have effect, take effect and to do something about reining these medical practitioners in.”

In 2008 in the United States a district health authority in Nevada issued a public warning and called on people who had used a Las Vegas clinic over a four-year period to be tested for Hepatitis C and HIV.

The warning came after an investigation found the clinic had been responsible for unsafe anesthesia injection practices.

The Southern Nevada Health District identified six cases of Hepatitis C at the clinic, five of which stemmed from procedures on the same day involving anesthesia.

It said a syringe that was used to administer anesthetics to one patient may have contaminated the vial from which the anesthetics were drawn. Intended for single use only, the vial was subsequently reused.

The district advised 40,000 patients to contact their doctors and get tested for the disease.

Nothing like this happened in Victoria. Instead authorities went to the clinic and asked for a record of patients. Officials are gradually going through the list and contacting patients one by one.

Chief health officer Dr John Carnie says they did not want to alarm members of the public by issuing a warning in the first place back in February.

“We are in the process of starting to call people back, other people who may have had procedures at this clinic,” he said.

“We didn’t want them to be alarmed by a call from the department but we wanted them to be aware of the issue that we are dealing with, and that was the reason for making this public.”

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UPDATED:

Doctor a known drug user

THE anaesthetist under investigation for infecting at least 12 women with hepatitis C was a known drug user who previously had his medical registration restricted by health authorities.

The Medical Practitioner’s Board of Victoria became aware that Dr James Latham Peters had a drug problem in the years before he is alleged to have passed hepatitis C to women attending the Croydon Day Surgery, Victoria’s only late-term abortion clinic.

The medical board was so concerned for public safety it even placed Dr Peters on its health program for substance-abusing doctors and made him submit to drug tests for a year before it was convinced he was clean.

While he was being monitored the MPBV placed conditions on Dr Peters’ medical registration, limiting his access to certain drugs as well as other safeguards.

However, the conditions were lifted and any publicly accessible record of them was concealed to protect his privacy as soon he convinced the board he was reformed and the monitoring period ended.

The Herald Sun has learned the drug testing occurred within the past five years; however, privacy legislation prevents the MPBV from discussing the health history of any doctor.

Dr Peters’ licence was suspended on February 15 after the Department of Human Services found 12 female patients became infected with a strain of hepatitis C genetically the same as Dr Peters’ own infection.

All had attended the Croydon abortion clinic between August 2008 and August 2009.

When news of the hepatitis C scandal broke last week MPBV president Dr Robert Adler revealed only that Dr Peters had not been monitored for drug use at the time his medical registration was suspended, but would not reveal the doctor’s past.

Victoria Police is now investigating how the women came to be infected because health authorities have no explanation for how the virus could have been passed accidentally in so many cases.

The infections occurred at the Croydon Day Surgery – not the nearby Croydon Betta Health Medical Centre, which is not an abortion clinic, but which was included in a photograph appearing in Saturday’s Herald Sun.

In the past two days more than 700 former Croydon Day Surgery patients have called a Department of Human Services hotline worried that they could have been infected.

Anyone needing urgent contact with DHS about this issue can call 1300 365 677.