Friday, August 20, 2004

State Suspends Abortionist's Licence

Posted on Thu, Aug. 19, 2004
Mississippi suspends license of doctor who performed abortions
Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi authorities on Thursday suspended the license of Dr. Malachy DeHenre, who has performed abortions at a Jackson clinic.
The action mirrors a license suspension in Alabama, where officials say one of DeHenre's patients died after having an abortion last year.
"We couldn't wait another day to take action," said Dr. W. Joseph Burnett, executive director of the Mississippi Board of Medical Licensure. "He won't be practicing in Mississippi."
The state board is scheduled to meet Sept. 16, but Burnett and the board's executive committee agreed to take action Wednesday. An investigator located DeHenre, 53, on Thursday to serve the suspension documents, and the suspension took effect at noon. DeHenre lives in Laurel.
The Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners concluded DeHenre practiced medicine in a way to "endanger the health of patients" and committed "repeated malpractice."
Alabama's board suspended his license as of July 28. He has a Sept. 22 hearing date to respond to the charges.
DeHenre could not immediately be reached.
If Alabama acts to revoke DeHenre's license, Mississippi officials have the authority to mirror that action, Burnett said.
DeHenre, who has the right to appeal the Mississippi suspension, has been performing abortions at the New Woman Medical Center in Jackson for about five years.
Part of the Alabama investigation looked into an abortion he performed at the Jackson clinic on March 20, 2003, in which a woman "began hemorrhaging uncontrollably" and was taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where she received a total hysterectomy, the board found.
Pro-Life Mississippi of Jackson has lodged complaints against the doctor with state agencies since last year.
"Thank goodness it finally happened," said the group's executive director, Pat Cartrette.
Jackson has one other abortion clinic, the Jackson Women's Health Organization.
In the case against DeHenre in Alabama, a woman at the Summit Medical Center was discharged 20 minutes after having an abortion on Nov. 25, 2003. She sustained an unrecognized uterine perforation during the abortion, the Alabama board said.
Less than six hours later, her husband contacted the medical center and said she had abdominal pain and a low temperature. She died about 18 hours after her discharge.
The woman was identified as Leigh Ann Stephens Alford, 34, of Blount County, Ala., in court papers filed in June by her husband. The court filing is the first stage of a wrongful death and negligence lawsuit against Summit Medical Center of Alabama and the doctor and staff that treated her. The suit represents only one side of a legal argument.
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This report contributed on-cycle by The Clarion-Ledger.