Judge Rules Kansas Medical Board Wrongly Revoked Dr. Neuhaus’ Medical License


Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus has long been a target of anti-choice activists for her work assisting the late Dr. George Tiller, providing him second opinions on some pregnancy terminations as required under Kansas law. Because of her work with Tiller, in 2006 Operation Rescue activists filed a complaint against Neuhaus with the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts, the medical licensing board that eventually revoked Neuhaus’ medical license. Just this week, a Kansas judge overturned that revocation in a decision that illustrates the deeply political campaign waged against medical professionals in states with anti-choice activists appointed to medical review boards.

As reported by the Associated Press, Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis ruled specifically that the State Board of Healing Arts had failed to show that mental health exams provided by Neuhaus in 2003 were inadequate. Operation Rescue had challenged Neuhaus’ records of exams provided to 11 patients, ages 10 to 18, who needed abortion care. The complaint before the board claimed Neuhaus’ sparse records proved that she had failed to meet the standard of care in diagnosing each of the 11 patients with a serious mental health issue and that abortion was advisable.

Neuhaus defended her care and argued that she kept many details of those patients and exams out of record for concerns over patient privacy. Judge Theis ultimately agreed with Neuhaus and ruled that while her record keeping was deficient, the conclusion reached by the hearing officer of the state’s medical board that Nehaus’ care was inadequate came “solely on an inference” from problems with those records. “In this Court’s view, such an inference is too slim, too frail, and too conjectural to support any of his conclusions reached beyond a breach of adequate record keeping,” the court wrote.

The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts can appeal the decision to the state court of appeals or it can vote to start over and take up Neuhaus’ case again. Should Neuhaus want to practice medicine in the state again, even after this order, she will have to file paperwork with the board to be licensed again.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

To schedule an interview with contact director of communications Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

Follow Jessica Mason Pieklo on twitter: @hegemommy

  • fiona64

    Anti-choicers told lies about a physician? Quelle surprise.

    Glad to see justice prevail here.

  • Encopretic

    Mental health exams? Is she a psychiatrist? WTF does this have to do with abortion?

    • lady_black

      Go away. One doesn’t have to be psychiatrist to do a mental health exam, or diagnose a mental illness. Abortions are also done for mental health reasons.

    • fiona64

      There are some states that require a mental health exam to make sure a person “really” wants to terminate a pregnancy.

      Funny, no one ever seems to think a mental health exam is necessary to make sure a person “really” wants to have a child.

      • Encopretic

        You’re right. I didn’t know that.

        And apparently this doctor was “gundecking” the mental health exams so that another physician get the second opinion required by law and they could do the abortions.

        My mother is a nurse and she always tells me “if you don’t document it, it didn’t happen.” And this doctor apparently wasn’t adequately documenting her exams. I don’t think she should have lost her license but it sure looks sketchy.

        • lady_black

          What is “adequate documentation?” It’s whatever the medical professional decides is adequate. See, I’m a nurse too. Your mom is right to the extent that if you ever find yourself in a court of law facing a malpractice action, your documentation may be what saves you. It might very well influence reimbursement, too. And you better be sure they are going to meet that standard. Otherwise, it doesn’t much matter. That doesn’t mean you have to write a novel every time you chart. If someone was going to “gundeck” (nice Navy reference there) documentation, they would take extraordinary care to make it seem as though it was actually done, and not do it. This doctor could have used a *checklist*, and that would be adequate documentation for the purpose. Medical boards and Nursing boards are in the business of making sure illegal things aren’t happening, and that practitioners are considered “safe to practice” by means of passing a test (board exam). They are NOT in the business of investigating the quality of practitioner’s documentation. This was a political action from start to finish, and that kind of thing has no place in state boards that oversee medical practitioners. It’s (pardon the pun) “unprofessional.”

          • L-dan

            Plus, it was pretty clear from previous articles about this entire thing that she was leaving certain things out of documentation for privacy reasons when working with children in a political environment that has seen abortion records subpoenaed for non-health-related reasons and not always adequately protected.

        • fiona64

          And this doctor apparently wasn’t adequately documenting her exams.

          Funny … the judge seems to think she did.

          Your expertise in medical documentation is based on “my mom’s a nurse.” I guess you’ll have to pardon me for being unimpressed.

          • Encopretic

            “ruled that while her record keeping was deficient”

            Please read the article before commenting.

            Do you have something against nurses that I should know about? What exactly of my mother’s comment do you think is not valid? She’s been practicing for 41 years so I’m sure she’d love your opinion.

          • fiona64

            Did I say anything about your mother? No, I referred to *you,* claiming expertise based on emerging from the womb of a nurse.

            Please re-read your own words, madame.

          • Encopretic

            When did I ever claim expertise sweetheart?

            You’ve got some serious anger issues.

          • Jennifer Starr

            You did use ‘my mom’s a nurse’ to back up your statement.

          • Encopretic

            Yeah and so what? I also quoted this article. What’s your point?

          • Jennifer Starr

            Using that fact to claim expertise on that particular subject.

          • goatini

            Sh!t stirrer troll is sh!t stirring.

          • HeilMary1

            Her account is private so I can’t check her commenting history to verify her stealth troll status.

          • fiona64

            It’s pretty obvious, don’t you think?

          • fiona64

            I’m not angry, sweetie pie. I’m embarrassed for you, that you would look so stupid in public, but I’m not angry.

            You claimed expertise based on “my mommy told me.” That’s laughable.

          • Encopretic

            How did I look stupid? The judge agreed that this doctor wasn’t keeping adequate medical records.

            And, again, I never claimed expertise.

            Any more bullying you’d like to get out of your system now?

          • fiona64

            So, it’s bullying to point out that you claimed “my mom’s a nurse” as your citation for expertise?

            Okey-dokey then …

          • Encopretic

            You seem to be angry about that fact that you were wrong and the judge stated that this doctor had deficient record keeping.

            And yet you want to deflect and keep bringing up my mom.

          • fiona64

            And you seem to be angry that we’re unimpressed by you.

            Learn to live with the disappointment.

            It is quite apparent that the judge found her record-keeping adequate, since her license was restored and all. But hey, rock on, Miss “My Mommy’s a Nurse.”

          • Encopretic

            You need to read the article again.

            “ruled that while her record keeping was deficient.”

            And she didn’t get her license back yet.
            “she will have to file paperwork with the board to get her license again”

            Why are you even trying to debate me when it’s clear that you haven’t even bothered to read the article?

          • fiona64

            Filing the paperwork is a formality. The point is that her right to practice medicine has been restored.

            But you know that, don’t you? (If not, maybe you can get your mommy the nurse to explain it.)

          • Encopretic

            So you misspoke.

            That’s ok. Nobody is perfect. My mommy taught me that.

          • fiona64

            Boring troll is boring.

          • Encopretic

            I may be a troll, but at least I bothered to read the article and comprehend the English language.

          • Jennifer Starr

            You’re the one who brought up your mom. Not us.

          • Encopretic

            deflect deflect deflect

          • King Rat

            Not really.

            BTW, you’re an idiot.

          • cjvg

            Former AG Phill Kline (who prosecuted Dr. Neuhaus) scandalized the clinics and the doctors, terrorizing the patients who came for treatment (and were cured), threatened and coerced staff and doctors with meaningless queries into the patients’ identities.

            Former AG Phill Kline also did not reprimand his poorly organized agents for playfully throw around the confidential medical records in a Kinko’s in Johnson County. He later had them stored in unsecured storage bins in cars, unattended garages and on his staffs own dining tables where any visitor or family members had unrestricted access.

            Eventually details of Dr. Neuhaus confidential medical files on patients where even leaked to the media!

            Do you really want to claim wonder about why Dr. Neuhaus, was keeping the identifying details on her patients so vague!

            It is very obvious she was more then justified in doing so and clearly did this in the best interest of her patients!

          • goatini

            In a country where women’s civil rights are respected and protected, Kline would be doing serious time.

          • HeilMary1

            Kline deserves the same invasion of his privacy — his garbage should be inspected for evidence of his Viagra abuse and coffee abortions by his wife. Imagine if pro-choicers staged embarrassing bloody “baby” tampon funerals on his front lawn!

          • HeilMary1

            Scary! Kline and his goons deserve to choke on their own panty-sniffing tactics.

          • King Rat

            Do you have something against nurses that I should know about?

            Yes. RHRC is the foremost anti-nurse network on the web. Thanks for noticing.

          • Encopretic

            Seems like it. I didn’t realize I’d run into a bunch of elitists on here.

      • lady_black

        Maybe it should be.

      • HeilMary1

        Or use Viagra!

  • goatini

    Take THAT, Philllll Klllllline!

  • jruwaldt

    Of course, she provided substandard and inadequate care. She authorized and probably provided abortions! I suppose that’s what these anti-choice pricks think.

  • L-dan

    Excellent news.

  • King Rat

    It still amazes me that operation rescue would rather a 10 year old rape victim give birth.

    • HeilMary1

      And die!