Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Delaware officials continue probe of abortion clinic linked to Pa. doctor charged with murder

Delaware officials have reached a tentative agreement with an operator of a Delaware abortion clinic linked to a Philadelphia abortionist who is charged with murder.

The attorney general's office filed a complaint in February alleging that Atlantic Women's Medical Services owner Panzy Myrie had been advertising herself as a gynecologist, even though she does not have a medical license. By falsely holding herself out as a doctor, Myrie posed a "clear and present" danger to the public, according to the attorney general's office, which asked the medical licensing board to schedule an emergency hearing and to issue a cease and desist order.

The licensing board scheduled a hearing on Monday to discuss the complaint, but the meeting was postponed late Sunday after a consent agreement with Myrie was reached over the weekend. Further details were not immediately available.

"Both parties agreed to postpone today's hearing while an agreement is being finalized," Jason Miller, a spokesman for the attorney general's office, said in a prepared statement. "Since it has not been finalized, we cannot discuss it at this time."

An attorney representing the clinic did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.

Meanwhile, complaints filed against two doctors who worked at the Atlantic Women's clinic, Albert Dworkin and Arturo Apolinario, are still not resolved. The attorney general's office claims Apolinario and Dworkin failed to take steps to protect the public from Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who is charged in the deaths of seven babies and a patient at the Philadelphia clinic. Gosnell also worked at the Delaware clinic.

But last week, a medical licensing panel voted to lift an emergency license suspension that had been imposed on Dworkin at the request of the attorney general's office. Miller declined to comment on the panel's decision, saying it has not yet issued its report.

"We will review the report when we receive it," he said.

The attorney general's office contends that Dworkin was the obstetrician and gynecologist of record for the Philadelphia clinic and knew or should have known that Gosnell and his staff were engaged in unprofessional and criminal conduct, including "maintaining deplorable conditions" and "murdering babies born alive at the clinic."

Apolinario is described in the attorney general's complaint as the medical director of abortion clinics in Dover and Wilmington run by Atlantic Women's Medical Services, where authorities say Gosnell also practiced until his license was suspended in March 2010. The complaint accuses Apolinario of failing to report that Gosnell had removed and destroyed patient records. He was also accused of prescribing medicines after his controlled substances registration lapsed in June 2009 and before it was renewed this year.

Like Dworkin, Apolinario was the subject of an emergency license suspension. A licensing board panel convened a hearing last month to determine whether Apolinario's license should be permanently revoked, but attorneys asked that the hearing be continued at a later date because of new records that had surfaced, and because of what Apolinario's lawyer described as a legal issue.

No comments:

Post a Comment