Archive for James Latham Peters

Abortion doc who deliberately infected patients with hepatitis C loses appeal

Posted in Abortionist, Abortionist arrested, pro-choice, Pro-choice law breakers, pro-choice violence with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2013 by saynsumthn

James Latham Peters

A former doctor who infected 55 of his female patients with hepatitis C while working at an abortion clinic has lost his bid to appeal against his 14 year jail sentence.

Lawyers for James Latham Peters argued the term was disproportionate to his crimes.

The 63-year-old former anaesthetist was given a non-parole period of 10 years after pleading guilty to 55 counts of negligently causing serious injury.

On Friday Victorian Court of Appeal president Justice Chris Maxwell said the sentence was unimpeachable. “In my opinion it is not reasonably arguable that the sentence was disproportionate,” he said.

Peters infected 55 women with hepatitis C in 2008 and 2009 when he was working at a Croydon abortion clinic while addicted Fentanyl.

Read BackStories here

The Victorian Court of Appeal on Friday rejected James Latham Peters’ application to appeal his 14-year prison term and 10-year non-parole period for infecting 55 women with the disease.

Court of Appeal president Justice Chris Maxwell said the sentence was unimpeachable.

Slater and Gordon principal lawyer Julie Clayton, who is representing some of the victims in a civil lawsuit, said they were relieved Peters’ sentence would stand.
“Every time the matter comes before the courts it reopens the trauma that these women have already experienced,” Ms Clayton told AAP.

“The rejection today by the Court of Appeal hopefully means that the women can put the criminal proceedings behind them.”

Peters infected the women in 2008 and 2009, when he was working as an anaesthetist at a Croydon abortion clinic while addicted to the drug he was administering.

In a bid to hide his drug use from colleagues, he would inject himself with the opiate Fentanyl before using the same needle to administer the rest of the dosage to the patient.
Justice Maxwell said Peters’ level of moral culpability was very high, and his crimes had involved grave breaches of trust.

“On each of the 55 occasions there was a breach of the duty of care,” he said.
Peters’ victims are suing him, the director of the abortion clinic and the Victorian Medical Board.
The women now face an increased risk of suffering cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.

Abortion doctor charged with endangering life of 49 women at abortion clinic

Posted in Abortion, Abortion Clinic Inspections, abortion clinic safety, Abortion Clinic Worders, Abortion Regulation, Abortionist, Marie Stopes with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2011 by saynsumthn

As former abortion clinic anaesthetist James Latham Peters was granted bail after a 15-month investigation, women caught up in the Croydon Day Surgery health scandal spoke of their relief that criminal charges had been laid.

“Suzanne”, one of the 54 women battling to regain their health, welcomed the charges but said she had lost faith in the health system.

“The system has let me and my family down, and the Victorian public,” she said.

“My faith in the parts of the medical profession is gone, it’s just out the door.”

Dr Peters, 61, of Hawthorn, was bailed on a $200,000 surety after facing court charged with three offences against each of his alleged victims.

Abortion clinic doctor charged with infecting patients with hepatitis C
Anaesthesiologist James Latham Peters charged with endangering life of 49 women at clinic in Melbourne
Friday 27 May 2011

An Australian doctor has been charged with endangering the lives of patients after allegedly infecting nearly 50 women with hepatitis C at an abortion clinic.

James Latham Peters, 61, who worked as an anesthesiologist at the Melbourne clinic, was charged with 54 counts of conduct endangering life, negligently causing serious injury and recklessly causing serious injury. The most serious charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Peters was released on bail of A$250,000 (£162,000) after appearing briefly at Melbourne magistrates court on Friday. He was not required to enter pleas to the charges, which relate to 49 patients at the clinic, who health officials say contracted the same strain of hepatitis C as Peters between 2008 and 2009.

Hepatitis C, which is spread through the blood, can cause serious liver problems, including cirrhosis and cancer. Police have not released details on how they believe the disease was transmitted, but Bram Alexander, a spokesman for the Victoria state department of health, said officials had closely investigated all the infection control procedures at the clinic and did not find any problems.

“That’s precisely why, back in early last year, we referred these matters to the police for further investigation because our investigation could find no plausible reason as to why the infection took place,” Alexander said.
Peters had his registration suspended in February 2010. Under his bail conditions, Peters must not work in any medical or health-related field and must not contact staff at a number of medical centres where he previously worked, including the abortion clinic. He was also required to surrender his passport.

Health officials tested more than 4,000 of Peters’ patients during their investigation, and found 49 who were infected with a strain of the virus genetically linked to his.

Update on abortion doctor who infected patients with Hepatitis C at abortion clinic in Australia

Posted in Abortion, Abortion clinic dirty, Abortion Clinic Inspections, abortion clinic safety, Abortion Clinic Worders, Abortion Regulation, Abortionist, pro-choice violence with tags , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2011 by saynsumthn

Nearly 50 women match doctor’s Hepatitis C

May 16, 2011
Nearly 50 women have the same strain of hepatitis C as a doctor who treated them at a Victorian late term abortion clinic.

After testing 4312 of James Latham Peters‘ patients between 2006 and 2009, 49 women who had procedures at the Croydon Day Surgery have been confirmed as having the same strain of the disease as the anesthetist.

All of the patients had procedures at the clinic from January 2008 to December 2009.

None of Dr Peters’ patients at the Fertility Control Clinic in East Melbourne, St Albans Endoscopy Centre or the Western Day Surgery tested positive to hepatitis C that could be linked to him.

Dr Peters is currently under police investigation and had his registration suspended by the Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria in February 2010.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer John Carnie the 49 patients were definitely linked to Dr Peters.

“This is an extremely traumatic and distressing episode for these patients,” he told reporters in Melbourne on Monday.
“Many of them will be extremely angry that they have been put at risk.

“I would find it very difficult to determine some accidental means (of transmission) that would involve this number of patients at just the one clinic.”

Dr Carnie said the department was unable to determine a consistent infection control issue at the Croydon clinic – now called Marie Stopes International Maroondah.

“There is certainly no evidence of any other clusters of cases at any of the other clinics despite looking into just over 1000 patients,” he said.
Of the 4312 patients tested, 3302 were from the Croydon clinic.

While some people are able to clear the disease from their system naturally and others respond to treatment, those who don’t risk serious health complications including liver cancer.
Forty-nine women are preparing to launch a class action against Dr Peters.

Lawyer Paula Shelton said the women planned to pursue the clinic, Dr Peters and possibly the Medical Board of Australia for compensation.
“It’s very interesting that having tested patients from other facilities they’re now saying that there are no infections so there is something very, very special about this (Croydon) clinic that has allowed this to happen,” Ms Shelton told reporters.

Most of the women involved in the class action were part of the group of 49, but there were also some of the 19 women who had cleared the disease from their system.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the investigation into Dr Peters was ongoing but would not comment further.

Nurse at the Croydon clinic, Carol Ann Richards, 68, has faced court after allegedly disclosing information about the police investigation to a person under investigation at the centre.

BackStory: 2010

Investigation continues in intentional hepatitis C infections at Melbourne abortion clinic

Posted in Abortion, abortion clinic safety, Abortion Clinic Worders, Abortion injury, Abortionist, pro-choice, pro-choice violence with tags , , , , , , , on November 20, 2010 by saynsumthn

Police quiz anaesthetist over abortion clinic hepatitis C infections
Megan Levy and Rafael Epstein
November 19, 2010

Detectives have questioned a Hawthorn man at the centre of allegations that patients at a Melbourne abortion clinic were deliberately infected with hepatitis C.

Anaesthetist James Latham Peters, 61, was interviewed at St Kilda Road police station this morning after dozens of women treated at Croydon Day Surgery contracted the virus between 2008 and 2009.

He had arranged to speak to detectives this morning, attended with his lawyer and spoke with investigators for about an hour. He was released, “pending summons”, a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.

Next week, police expect to speak to others involved in the Croydon clinic.

Dr Peters’ Hawthorn home was one of five Melbourne properties raided last month by detectives from Taskforce Clays, which was set up to investigate the allegations.

Dr Peters, who has a history of pethidine addiction, was suspended by the Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria in February.

Forty-one patients at the abortion clinic are suspected of contracting the same strain of hepatitis C as Dr Peters.

“Taskforce Clays detectives are interviewing a 61-year-old Hawthorn man in relation to allegations patients at a Croydon health facility were infected with hepatitis C,” a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.

“He is currently assisting police with their enquiries.

“Investigators are continuing to analyse a significant amount of documentation that was seized last month.”

The Department of Health has tested more than 3000 patients treated between 2006 and 2009 at the Croydon Day Surgery – now called Marie Stopes Maroondah – and is still tracing a further 300 women.

Staff are also trying to contact another 1066 female and male patients at three other clinics.

They include 900 patients who attended Fertility Control in East Melbourne between January 2008 and November 2009, 150 from St Albans Endoscopy who were treated between February and September 2008, and 16 who attended the Western Day Surgery in Sunshine in March 2008.

No charges have been laid over the infections.

More women get Hepatitis C from abortion clinic

Posted in Abortion, abortion clinic safety, Abortion Regulation, Abortionist with tags , , , , , on June 2, 2010 by saynsumthn

NEW ZEALAND: NZ women linked to Melb Hepatitis C case
15:50 AEST Wed Jun 2 2010

By Nicky Park, South Pacific Correspondent

Health authorities are trying to track down 55 New Zealand women who visited a Melbourne abortion clinic over a four-year period and may have contracted Hepatitis C.

Already, 44 women in Australia have tested positive to the infection after being treated by James Latham Peters, an anaesthetist at a Croydon abortion clinic, Australia’s Department of Human Services (DHS) has revealed.

That number is certain to grow and the DHS has urged any women who have had abortions and been treated by Dr Peters at the Croydon Day Surgery to contact them.
The deputy director of public health for the New Zealand Ministry of Health, Fran McGrath, said the board was working with its Australian counterpart to track down 55 New Zealand women who may be at risk.

“This is a sensitive and potentially distressing situation and the ministry of health here and health authorities in Australia are being careful to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the women involved,” Dr McGrath said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Based on the results of women tested to date, approximately five per cent of women treated at the clinic may have contracted Hepatitis C.

“Based on this information we estimate that up to three New Zealand women may test positive.”

More than 1100 women treated by Dr Peters since 2008 have been contacted by DHS and told to be tested, with the results of 746 women received showing 32 infection cases, Victoria’s chief health officer John Carnie said.

Abortion is legal in New Zealand and various organisations contacted by AAP couldn’t offer any reasons why New Zealand women would travel to Australia for the procedure.
New Zealand women who had procedures at the Croydon Day Surgery from 1 January 2006 to 7 December 2009 are urged to call Healthline (0800 611 116) in New Zealand.