Indiana Doctor Faces Fine for Talking About 10-Year-Old’s Abortion…

Indiana Doctor Faces Fine for Talking About 10-Year-Old's Abortion

A medical board in Indiana decided Thursday night to censure an Indianapolis doctor for violating patient privacy regulations when she discussed having performed an abortion on an Ohio rape victim who was 10 years old.

In a case that became a political flashpoint in the national abortion debate days after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade last summer, the state Medical Licencing Board ruled that Dr. Caitlin Bernard did not comply by privacy regulations by alerting a newspaper reporter about the girl’s treatment.

The Republican attorney general of Indiana claimed that Bernard broke state law by not reporting the child abuse to Indiana authorities, but the board disagreed. Although the attorney general’s office recommended that Bernard’s licence be suspended, the board opted instead to punish him $3,000.

Bernard has always stood by her conduct, and on Thursday she told the board that she had notified hospital social workers about the child abuse in accordance with Indiana’s reporting laws and hospital policy, and that Ohio police were already investigating the girl’s rape. Bernard’s solicitors also claimed that their client did not violate any privacy laws by disclosing the girl’s personal information.

After the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last summer, an Ohio statute prohibiting abortions after six weeks of pregnancy went into force, and the Indianapolis Star referenced the girl’s situation in an article published on July 1. Until a 27-year-old male was charged with the rape in Columbus, Ohio, some news sources and Republican lawmakers wrongly thought Bernard manufactured the story. Vice President Joe Biden almost yelled his fury over the matter at a White House gathering.

Dr. John Strobel, president of the board, expressed concern that physicians should be cautious about maintaining patient privacy after hearing that Bernard had told a reporter about the girl’s impending abortion.

Strobel: “I don’t think she expected this to go viral. ” She probably wasn’t anticipating all the fuss about this particular patient. It did. The event took place.

On Thursday, Bernard’s attorney Alice Morical told the board that Bernard had filed multiple reports of child abuse last year, and that a social worker at the hospital had checked with Ohio child protection officials to make sure it was okay for the daughter to go home with her mother.

In his opinion, “Dr. Bernard could not have anticipated the atypical and intense scrutiny that this story received,” Morical stated. She was taken aback by the assertion that her story was fabricated by politicians.

The complaint filed by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita asks for “appropriate disciplinary action” from the licencing board but does not explain what that would be.

Last summer, after the girl’s case received widespread media attention, Rokita, who is vehemently anti-abortion, told Fox News that he would examine Bernard’s behaviour and dubbed her a “abortion activist acting as a doctor.”

On Thursday, Deputy Attorney General Cory Voight urged the board to take action against Bernard for what he called a “egregious violation” of patient privacy and for failing to report the rape to the Indiana Department of Child Services and local law enforcement.

The judge has never seen anything like this before, Voight added. No other doctor has been so “brazen” in their pursuit of personal gain, the author writes.

Voight questioned Bernard about her choice to use the example of the Ohio girl in interviews with the newspaper and other media outlets.

Bernard argued that it was crucial for the public to be aware of the practical consequences of the abortion legislation in the United States. To put it another way, “I think it’s important for people to know what patients will have to go through because of legislation that is being passed, and a hypothetical does not make that impact.”

Rokita’s office tweeted live comments during Thursday’s session, with one tweet reading: “When Bernard talked about the high priority she puts on legislation and speaking to the public, she did so at the expense of her own patient.” This reveals her true colours as an activist rather than a medical professional.

Bernard took issue with Voight’s claim that the misbehaviour charges were the result of her decision to disclose the subject in public.

Bernard speculated that the case wouldn’t even be happening if Attorney General Todd Rokita hadn’t made it into a political stunt.

The state attorney general’s office expressed concerns over whether Indiana University Health’s policy of reporting suspected child abuse to authorities in the state where the abuse happened was in accordance with Indiana law. Bernard’s employment was terminated. According to testimony presented by representatives of IU Health, the largest hospital system in the state, the Indiana Department of Child Services has never raised any concerns about the practise.

The Indiana board, consisting of five physicians and one attorney appointed or reappointed by Republican Governor Eric Holcomb, has broad authority under state law to issue letters of reprimand, suspend, revoke, or place on probation a physician’s licence.

After almost two months of enforcement, a lawsuit challenging Ohio’s nearly ban on abortion forced the law to be put on pause. Weeks after the Ohio girl’s case gained national attention, the Republican-dominated Indiana Legislature passed a statewide abortion ban, but abortions have remained to be legal in the state pending a ruling on the validity of the law from the Indiana Supreme Court.

Last autumn, Bernard tried to stop Rokita from investigating him, but he was unsuccessful. However, an Indianapolis court noted that Rokita had committed “clearly unlawful breaches” of state secrecy regulations when he publicly discussed his investigation of the doctor before filing the medical licencing complaint against her.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top