Archive for gross negligence

Unlicensed circuit riding abortion doc halted in Maryland

Posted in Abortion, abortion clinic safety, Abortion Clinic Worders, Abortion complication, Abortion injury, Steven Chase Brigham with tags , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2010 by saynsumthn

Pennsylvania physician cited for allegedly performing abortions in Elkton without Maryland medical license
By Jacob Owens
Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Maryland Board of Physicians issued a cease-and-desist order last week to a doctor who allegedly performed abortions in Elkton without a state medical license.

Dr. Steven Chase Brigham, who owns a chain of abortion clinics named American Women’s Services, has been using a rental property at 126 E. High St. in Elkton to perform procedures, according to the medical board.

In its order, the board said it “has probable cause to believe” Brigham is not, and has never been, licensed to practice medicine in Maryland.

However, according to the board, he has performed as many as three abortions a week in Elkton, for several months prior to the cease-and-desist order being issued Aug. 25.

Brigham has been observed performing surgical procedures on approximately 50 occasions in Maryland at the Elkton location since January 2010,” according to the legal order issued by the board, which details procedures as late as Aug. 20.

According to the board, one procedure “initiated” somewhere outside of Elkton on Aug. 13 “had to be completed on an urgent basis.”

“Brigham then followed the patient in an automobile as the patient, under his instructions, traveled to Elkton for the completion of the procedure,” according to the order. “In Elkton, the patient was admitted, as planned, to a clinic owned by Brigham for the completion of the procedure. He directed the surgical procedure that took place at his clinic on that date.

Contact information for Brigham’s Elkton office is not listed, nor is it listed as a facility on the American Women’s Services’ website.

Brigham has faced a long list of accusations, violations and punishments in several states throughout his career.

In 1994, New York revoked his medical license after a review board found him guilty of three acts of gross negligence and 10 counts of negligence involving two late-pregnancy abortions.

In July, the Pennsylvania Department of Health ordered Brigham to shut down four of his clinics in that state for repeatedly employing unlicensed caregivers, the Inquirer reported.

Brigham’s American Women’s Services facilities perform about 3,600 abortions a year in Pennsylvania, according to state records reviewed by the Inquirer.

Cecil County Health Officer Stephanie Garrity said she had never heard of Brigham before she was notified of the board’s order late last week.

Union Hospital spokeswoman Kathryn McKinney said Brigham has no ties there.

In Maryland, state law requires abortions to be performed by a licensed physician. If the patient is an unmarried minor, the physician must give notice to a parent or guardian before performing an abortion. That notice may be waived, however, if the physician deems the “minor is mature and capable of giving informed consent to an abortion,” or if notification would lead to physical or emotional abuse of the minor.

According to the pro-life watchdog group Operation Rescue: The order, dated August 25, 2010, indicates that Brigham has been practicing illegally in Maryland since January, 2010.

It referred to an incident that occurred on August 13, 2010, where Brigham had begun a surgical procedure presumed to be an abortion, since that is the sole focus of his business. However, something went wrong and Brigham instructed the woman to travel to his abortion clinic in Elkton to complete the procedure “on an urgent basis.”

“The health of Maryland patients is being endangered by the Respondent’s unlicensed practice of medicine in this State,” the order read.

The Maryland locations involved are located in Baltimore, Cheverly, Fredrick, College Park, and Elkton. Currently, all the clinics remain open and staffed by other abortionists.

Brigham operates a number of abortion mills in several states under the name American Women’s Services.

Brigham has been under investigation and discipline throughout his entire 20-year career. He voluntarily retired his medical license in Pennsylvania while under investigation just six years after graduating from medical school. Since then, Brigham had medical licenses revoked in New York and Florida, and received disciplinary action in California and New Jersey. He served 120 days in jail in 1998 for Medicaid fraud.

A judge once ordered him to stop advertising his abortions as “painless” and “safe.”

The only thing that will stop Brigham from committing illegal abortions that endanger the lives of women is to toss him in jail for a long time,” said Operation Rescue Senior Policy Advisor Cheryl Sullenger. “Traditional means of discipline simply don’t work with this guy. He has found that he can get away with just about anything without much more than a slap on the wrist. The only way to protect women from Brigham’s predatory and unsafe abortion business is to criminally charge him and order all his mills closed. We plan to file a complaint with the authorities and demand criminal charges before the end of the week.”