A Kansas doctor who provided second opinions for a late-term abortion provider who was gunned down last year could face disciplinary action from a state medical regulatory board.
Dr. Ann Neuhaus provided the second opinions for Dr. George Tiller that are required under Kansas law for any abortion performed after the 21st week of pregnancy when a fetus is viable, or can survive outside the womb.
The Kansas Board of Healing Arts filed an 11-count disciplinary complaint against Neuhaus over some of her second opinions, alleging the Nortonville woman failed to properly evaluate whether an abortion of a viable fetus was necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother — as required by Kansas law.
The petition, signed April 16, was made public Tuesday by the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, which had filed the initial complaint to the board against Tiller and Neuhaus. The complaint against Tiller was dismissed after he was killed at his Wichita church in May 2009.
An evidentiary hearing on the petition is set for Jan. 11.
The hearing officer then will make recommendations to the board on how Neuhaus should be disciplined. Disciplinary action could range from fines to license restrictions to suspension or revocation of her medical license, said board spokeswoman Lisa Corwin.
"Anytime you get abortion as an issue, you are dealing with a highly emotional subject anyway," Corwin said, noting that the board has found an independent hearing officer to hear the evidence.
The 30-page petition against Neuhaus takes issue with the medical care of 11 patients whose ages ranged from 10 to 18. All of the abortions cited involved fetuses with gestational ages of 25 to 29 weeks in 2003.
The petition alleges she failed to do adequate patient interviews, failed to perform adequate reviews of patients' history, failed to perform adequate evaluations of the impact of the patient's condition and failed to perform adequate mental status examinations.
Neuhaus could not be immediately reached for comment. It was unclear whether she had retained an attorney for the medical disciplinary action; the board did not have one listed for her.