Friday, December 28, 2007

Operation Rescue Demands Board of Healing Arts Reform In Wake Of Overdose Deaths And Abortion Charges

Newman calls Board “actions” too little, too late

(Topeka, Kansas) Operation Rescue is calling for radical reform of the Kansas
State Board of Healing Arts amid scandals involving Board ineptitude in the handling of complaints against a doctor indicted on Federal charges of unlawfully prescribing medication that may have led to 56 overdose deaths and an abortionist charged with multiple counts of violating state laws.

Thursday, the KSBHA recommended that the medical license of Stephen Schneider be suspended since his “continuation in practice constitutes an imminent danger to the public health and safety.” However that recommendation has no timetable for implementation. The Schneider complaint languished at the KSBHA since 2004. The recommendation was issued only after headlines revealed the Federal charges, spurring outrage from legislators over the KSBHA’s glacial pace of operation.

Complaints against abortionist George Tiller, filed in October, 2006, have yet to see action even though Operation Rescue was notified in September that the case was scheduled to go before a “review board.” Tiller was charged with 30 criminal counts related to illegal late-term abortions last December, which were dismissed without being considered on their merits. Two judges ruled there was probable cause to believe Tiller committed those crimes. In June, Tiller was charged with an additional 19 counts of illegal late-term abortions and faces a grand jury investigation slated to begin on January 8. Meanwhile, Tiller continues to operate without restriction.

“Late-term babies continue to die at Tiller’s abortion clinic in spite of laws that should protect them. The charges in both cases should have prompted suspension of licenses long ago,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “The system is broken. It seems only public embarrassment can prompt any action out of them. The only way to insure public safety is for a massive overhaul of the Board. We pledge to work with legislators to get this done.”

Operation Rescue calls on the Kansas Legislature to implement the following reforms:

1. The immediate firing of KSBHA Executive Director Larry Burning and Chief Counsel Mark Stafford, who have made endless excuses for Board ineptitude but done nothing but perpetuate the problems.

2. Removal the appointment process from the governor ( currently Kathleen Sebelius) and mandate that future appointments to the KSBHA to be made by a joint legislative committee to avoid cronyism, which has characterized past appointments and created an unsafe medical environment in Kansas.

3. Overhaul the complaint process to include deadlines for various stages of the process, more frequent meetings, more interconnectedness between the KSBHA and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and a broadening of the Board’s ability to independently investigate suspected problems in the medical community.

Via Operation Rescue.

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