Archive for Melbourne

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 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.

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.

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.