Pa. abortion doctor's license suspended after raid finds "deplorable and unsanitary" conditions (Associated Press)
Wednesday February 24th, 2010
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Federal agents raided a clinic where abortions are performed and found "deplorable and unsanitary" conditions, including blood on the floor and parts of aborted fetuses in jars, according to the state agency that shut it down and suspended the license of the doctor in charge.
In the order suspending Dr. Kermit Gosnell's license, the Pennsylvania Department of State's Board of Medicine said investigators found numerous health and safety risks at Gosnell's abortion and pain-management clinic, including a preoperative and recovery area that consisted of several recliners grouped together.
The Women's Medical Society clinic is open during the day, but Gosnell does not arrive until somewhere between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and is the only person with a medical license working there, according to the order.
A clinic employee told investigators that Gosnell directed her in his absence to conduct gynecological examinations and administer painkillers to patients, the document states.
The temporary suspension of Gosnell's license follows at least two raids by agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI. At the time of one raid - at 9 p.m. on Feb. 18 - investigators found the clinic full of patients.
On Nov. 20, the document states, a patient died after being given two separate doses of painkillers plus anesthesia before an abortion.
Gosnell's number is unlisted and calls to the clinic rang unanswered. It's not known if he has an attorney. His practice is located near the University of Pennsylvania campus in a large corner building, where a note in the window said that all patient appointments were canceled.
No criminal charges have been filed. Officials from the Philadelphia district attorney's office, DEA and FBI declined to comment, citing the ongoing probe and a sealed search warrant.
Kenneth E. Brody, attorney for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, confirmed that the department was assisting in the investigation but declined to discuss details.
Separate from the criminal probe, an investigation by state regulators will determine whether there is enough evidence for a formal hearing before the state Board of Medicine, said Department of State spokesman Charles Young.
"The petition alleges in this case that there is a threat to public safety," Young said, "but he is presumed innocent until proven otherwise."
According to Department of State records, Gosnell, 69, received his medical license in 1967. He also was authorized to practice medicine in New York in 1970.
In 1996, he was fined $1,000 by the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine for employing an uncertified physician's assistant. No other disciplinary actions were found.