Archive for George Shepard Jr

Teen In Critical Condition After Botched Abortion

Posted in 911 calls, Abortion, abortion clinic safety, Abortion Clinic Worders, Abortion coma, Abortion complication, Abortion injury, pro-choice, pro-choice violence, Steven Chase Brigham with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2010 by saynsumthn

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A botched abortion leaves a teenager in critical condition in Cecil County.

Now Suzanne Collins reports the state has suspended the licenses of two doctors and ordered another to stop practicing in the state.

The Elkton clinic was closed Friday with a cease and desist order on the door.

The trouble began when Dr. Nicola Riley performed a failed abortion on an 18-year-old woman on Aug. 13, perforating her uterus and cutting her bowel.

The state has just suspended Riley’s license to practice medicine in Maryland and also the license of an 88-year-old doctor dispensing medicine at the clinic.

“The report that came to us was so egregious and the information in the complaint so serious, the state had to respond quickly,” said David Paulsen, Md. Health Department.

Union Hospital called police when the semi-conscious teen arrived at emergency with two doctors in a rental car, not in an ambulance.

One of them was Dr. Riley. The other was Dr. Steven Brigham who owns the clinic and others in a number of states.

Investigators say security at the hospital told them Dr. Brigham and Dr. Riley were circumspect about, “who they were, what happened and where they came from.”

Also, the report from the state says Riley went back to the clinic and performed another abortion.

Brigham, the clinic owner, has no license to practice medicine in Maryland, but the state says he was supervising the abortions. They issued a cease and desist order.

Elkton Police raided the clinic taking medical records and seizing a freezer.

“It contained fetuses, approximately 35. They appeared to be close to full-term,” said Lt. Matthew Donnelly, Elkton Police.

The licensing board’s investigation finds three patients, including the teen, followed Brigham in their own cars from his New Jersey clinic, where he can’t perform late-term abortions to Elkton the day of the surgery.

Riley, who just got her Maryland medical license, flew in from her home in Utah to perform the abortions.

Brigham operates four other clinics in Baltimore, Frederick and the D.C. suburbs.

2 abortion Drs. ordered to stop after Md. injury

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland health officials have ordered two doctors to stop performing abortions after a woman was critically injured during a procedure last month.

The state Board of Physicians ordered Dr. Steven Brigham to stop practicing medicine without a license in Maryland and suspended the license of Dr. Nicola Riley. Police raided one of Brigham’s offices in Elkton looking for medical records, and found dozens of late-term fetuses in a freezer at a clinic.

Riley and Brigham brought an injured 18-year-old woman in a personal vehicle to Union Hospital in Elkton after a failed abortion Aug. 13, according to the board’s orders. The woman was then taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where she was found to have a uterine perforation.

A Hopkins doctor filed a complaint against Riley, and along with a general surgeon, repaired the injuries to the woman.

Brigham owns American Women’s Services, which has offices in several states.

The 18-year-old woman initially went to an American Women’s Services office in New Jersey and met with Brigham on Aug. 12, according to the order. She returned the next day and was given pills to induce contractions, and told to drive 60 miles to the Elkton facility where the abortion would be performed.

Several days later, the Elkton police department, acting on a warrant for the woman’s medical record, found a freezer with about 35 late-term fetuses. Elkton police didn’t immediately return a telephone message Friday night.

Brigham is licensed in New Jersey, but not Maryland. Riley has a license in Maryland, but “poses a threat to her patients’ safety and well-being and thereby represents a danger to the public,” according to the board’s order.

The board said Riley lives in Utah and flew to Maryland to work at the clinic.

A third doctor, George Shepard Jr., also had his license suspended. He ordered medications for AWS’ Maryland facilities and knowingly took part in an arrangement in which abortions started in one state and patients were told to drive across state lines for completion of the procedure, the board said.

Voicemails left with Riley at her office in Utah and Brigham’s office in New Jersey were not immediately returned Friday night. A message left for Shepard’s lawyer was not immediately returned.

UPDATE 9-8-2010

Board upholds license suspension against doctor in abortion injury
State panel grants continuance to lawyers for second physician

By Nick Madigan, The Baltimore Sun
2:18 PM EDT, September 8, 2010

The Maryland Board of Physicians on Wednesday upheld a suspension order against an obstetrician who ran an Elkton clinic in which an 18-year-old woman was badly injured during an abortion.

Neither the doctor — George Shepard Jr., 88, who oversaw the five Maryland clinics of American Women’s Services — nor his attorney appeared Wednesday morning at a board hearing in Baltimore that was to hear evidence against him in the case of the woman, who suffered a ruptured uterus and other internal injuries during a procedure on Aug. 13.

The medical licenses of Shepard and another doctor, Nicola I. Riley, were suspended last week. A third doctor in the case, Steven C. Brigham, 54, who state officials say owns the chain of clinics, was not licensed to practice medicine in Maryland and was ordered to stop doing so.

Two lawyers for Riley, 45, appeared at Wednesday’s hearing and asked for a continuance on the grounds that they had not had sufficient time to prepare a defense of her actions. The continuance was granted.

“She’s going to fight to keep her license,” Christopher C. Brown, one of Riley’s lawyers, said after the hearing. The other attorney, Sharon Krevor-Weisbaum, added, “She should be reinstated.”

The physicians’ board took action against the three doctors after a surgeon at a Baltimore hospital had been forced to perform an emergency operation on the young woman to repair damage from the procedure she underwent at the Elkton clinic.

C. Irving Pinder Jr., the executive director of the physicians’ board, said that even though Brigham was unlicensed in Maryland, he could still be fined $50,000 for each incident of malpractice, and that law enforcement agencies were looking into the possibility of charging him with felonies.

The other two doctors could also be charged, and the physicians’ board retains the option of reprimanding them, revoking their licenses, placing them on probation or dismissing their cases.

Two more doctors investigated in unlicensed abortion clinic

Posted in Abortion, abortion clinic safety, Abortion Clinic Worders, Abortion complication, Abortion injury, Abortion Regulation, Abortionist, pro-choice, Pro-choice law breakers, pro-choice violence, Steven Chase Brigham with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2010 by saynsumthn

Doctor’s four-state abortion business under investigation
By Marie McCullough
Inquirer Staff Writer 9/3/2010

Three weeks ago, physician Steven Brigham led a car caravan of patients from his Voorhees abortion clinic to his facility in Elkton, Md. After one of the patients was critically injured during her surgery there, Brigham put the semiconscious, bleeding woman into the back of a rented Chevrolet Malibu and drove her to a nearby hospital emergency room rather than call an ambulance.

Those details are contained in documents issued over the last 10 days by the Maryland Board of Physicians and Elkton police. The two agencies have launched a wide-ranging investigation into Brigham’s long-troubled abortion business, which he conducts in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.

On Aug. 25, the Maryland Board of Physicians ordered Brigham, 54, to stop performing abortions in that state, where he has never been licensed to practice medicine. By then police had raided Brigham’s Elkton facility – from which they said they removed 35 “late-term fetuses and fetal parts” – as well as the Voorhees headquarters of his chain of 15 clinics, which does business as American Women’s Services.

Maryland authorities seek missing medical records, and are looking into Brigham’s habit of sending late-term patients across state lines after initiating their abortions in Voorhees.

Brigham’s four New Jersey clinics cannot provide abortions after the first trimester (14 weeks of pregnancy) because they do not meet state safety requirements for such risky outpatient surgeries. Brigham has for years performed the first phase of such abortions there – the insertion of absorbent rods that dilate the patient’s cervix over a day or more – and sent them to a facility in another state for the surgery. New Jersey law doesn’t address whether inserting dilators constitutes abortion.
Brigham did not return a phone message left Thursday at his Voorhees condominium.

Maryland’s action is just the latest problem for the doctor, whose medical license has been revoked, relinquished, or temporarily suspended in five states over the last 18 years.

In July, the Pennsylvania Department of Health revoked Brigham’s permission to own clinics in the state because he had repeatedly employed unlicensed caregivers; he is appealing that decision. Brigham himself cannot perform medical procedures in Pennsylvania because of a confidential 1992 agreement in which he agreed to give up his license.

Brigham also had $234,536 in federal tax liens against him in April for failing to pay payroll taxes from 2002 to 2006.

Maryland regulators are investigating not only Brigham, but also two physicians he employed, the documents show.

On Tuesday, the board suspended the Maryland license of George Shepard Jr., a Delaware obstetrician-gynecologist hired in 2009 as a part-time medical director of Brigham’s four Maryland clinics. The board has charged Shepard with unprofessional conduct and with helping Brigham flout credentialing requirements.

Shepard’s lawyer, Jason Allison of Elkton, said, “We are reviewing the allegations and . . . are confident that Dr. Shepard’s license will be reinstated.”

On Tuesday, the Maryland board also suspended the license it granted less than two months ago to Nicola I. Riley, a family physician who in late July began flying “from her home in Utah every other week to Maryland to perform abortions.” Riley did not return a call left with her mother in Utah.

It was Riley who mishandled the abortion on Aug. 13, according to the medical board documents. They provide this account:

On Aug. 12, an 18-year-old woman, 21 weeks pregnant, signed abortion consent forms at Brigham’s Voorhees facility, at 1 Alpha Ave. Brigham then inserted the absorbent rods that widen the cervix.

On Aug. 13, the patient returned to the Voorhees clinic, with “the understanding that she would be provided transportation to Philadelphia” for the surgical phase of the abortion.

Instead, “Dr. Brigham . . . instructed [her] and the other women who were scheduled to complete abortions to form a line of cars and follow the lead car to a location where the abortion would be performed.”

In Elkton, Riley gave the patient anesthesia under Brigham’s direction and began the surgery, but cut through the patient’s uterus into the bowel and vagina.
Riley informed the patient’s mother and boyfriend of the complications, but refused to call for an ambulance. Riley “originally contemplated taking [the patient] by wheelchair to the hospital, which was about two blocks away.”

Brigham drove Riley and the patient to the hospital, where the two abortion doctors dodged questions “about who they were, what had happened, and from where they had come.”

The patient’s injuries were so complex that she had to be flown by helicopter to Johns Hopkins Hospital while Riley “returned to the Elkton office . . . to perform another abortion.”

A few days later, the patient complained to the Elkton police; they raided the clinic on Aug. 17, looking for the patient’s medical record. Although that couldn’t be found, police discovered frozen aborted fetuses and medical-waste records showing fetal ages up to 36 weeks. (A pregnancy is considered full-term at 38 weeks.)

On Aug. 20, Elkton police searched Brigham’s Voorhees office for medical records that would explain the fetuses.

The officers “found only two medical records related to the fetuses,” board documents say.

Staff from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office were on hand for the search, spokesman Paul Loriquet said. He added that he believed New Jersey’s Board of Medicine, which oversees physicians, would take action soon.

The Maryland board moved against Brigham, Shepard, and Riley after a Johns Hopkins physician filed a complaint. The physician expressed concerns that patients were being put at risk by “being transported across state lines to complete medical care,” board documents say.