San Diego, Calif., Jan 12, 2010 / 01:31 am
After the death of a 30-year-old woman who underwent an abortion, a previously disciplined California abortionist has been accused of gross negligence, incompetence and other legal violations. A judge has ordered him to stop performing abortions until his medical license is reviewed, while critics say their complaints were not addressed.
After a Jan. 7 hearing in San Diego, Administrative Law Judge James Ahler ordered Dr. Andrew Rutland to limit his practice to procedures other than abortion and delivering babies, the California Catholic Daily reports.
At a clinic in San Gabriel in August 2009, a woman named Ying Chen went into full cardiac arrest after a second-trimester abortion by Rutland on July 28, 2009. She died six days later at a nearby hospital.
Medical board records said she had been injected with the “dangerous” narcotic painkiller Demerol and the local anesthetic lidocaine. Her heart stopped beating and a later autopsy found that she died from lidocaine toxicity.
Judge Ahler said Rutland’s decision to perform the abortion at the San Gabriel clinic, which did not have adequate equipment to handle medical emergencies, “casts doubt on his professional judgment.”
The judge issued a ruling prohibiting Rutland from performing surgical procedures of any kind. However, he rejected the request by medical board representative Deputy Attorney General Douglas Lee that the doctor’s license should be immediately revoked.
Luis Mendoza, a pro-life advocate who conducts sidewalk counseling outside the Chula Vista clinic where Rutland operates, said that the medical board could have saved the woman’s life had it acted promptly on complaints filed about Rutland’s activities at the abortion facility.
“We complained that he was violating the terms of his probation by practicing medicine in the Chula Vista clinic without another doctor being present,” he said in an e-mail to San Diego-area pro-lifers. “Rutland overdosed the poor woman on July 28th. Four months after our complaint. A cease and desist order should have been issued against Rutland before the woman was killed.”