Indiana Reprimands Doctor Who Provided Abortion to 10-Year-Old Rape Victim
An Indiana doctor who provided Abortion of a 10-year-old rape victim violated the privacy of his young patient while discussing the case with a reporter last year, the state’s medical board ruled Thursday night.
Dr. Caitlin Barnard, an Indianapolis gynecologist, gained national attention last year when she overturned the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision shortly after providing an abortion for an Ohio girl. Left states free to strictly restrict or outlaw abortion. .
The state’s medical board voted to issue Dr. Bernard a letter of reprimand and a $3,000 fine. But he decided against tougher penalties, which could have included suspension or probation, instead of allowing Dr. Barnard to return to his practice.
The board also cleared her of other charges that she failed to properly report the girl’s rape to the authorities.
The decision was the culmination of a year-long legal pursuit of Dr. Barnard by Republican state Attorney General Todd Rocetta, who opposes abortion.
The Ohio girl went to Indiana for the procedure after her home state banned most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Dr. Barnard told a reporter from the Indianapolis Star about the case during an abortion rights rally. He did not name the patient, however The case quickly became a flashpoint. In the early days of the debate following the Supreme Court’s decision, Dr. Barnard was able to gain the attention of President Biden and focus the attention and ire of conservatives.
Dr. John Strobel, president of the board, called Dr. Barnard a “good doctor,” saying, “I don’t think she intended for it to go viral.”
“But I think we as physicians need to be more careful in this situation,” he said.
Mr. Rokita, who filed complaints against Dr. Barnard with the medical board, praised the findings.
“This case was about patient privacy and trust between doctor and patient,” Mr. Rokita said in a statement late Thursday. “What if it was your child or your patient or your sibling who was going through a sensitive medical crisis, and that doctor, who you thought was on your side, was in the press for political reasons? ran away?”
Dr Barnard has criticized Mr Rokita for turning the case into a “political stunt”.
During the hearing, which lasted more than 15 hours and ended just before midnight, Dr. Barnard said his own comments did not reveal protected patient health information. Rather, Dr. Barnard said, it was a fierce political battle that followed. Some conservatives doubted his story and demanded confirmation. ultimately, Accused of raping girl appeared in court And was attached to his case.
Dr. Barnard, who has publicly advocated for abortion rights, said he has a moral responsibility to educate the public about pressing public health issues, particularly questions about reproductive health. – Their area of expertise.
Last July, after Indiana scheduled a special legislative session on abortion, Dr. Barnard was concerned that lawmakers in his home state would impose stricter restrictions on access to abortion, similar to the Ohio law that passed it. forced the 10-year-old patient to cross state lines.
Indiana passed legislation banning most abortions, with narrow exceptions for rape and rape. The law is pending legal challenge. Abortion is currently legal in Indiana up to 22 weeks.
Dr. Barnard said she wanted to highlight the potential consequences of laws restricting access to abortion, and “had no idea” how much the public would focus on the Ohio girl’s case.
“I think it’s incredibly important for people to understand the impact of the actual wording of the laws in this country,” he said.
Dr. Peter Schwartz, a Pennsylvania OB-GYN and chairman of the American Medical Association’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, supported Dr. Barnard’s decision to talk about the Ohio patient.
Dr. Schwartz said Dr. Barnard has a “responsibility to speak affirmatively” about reproductive health issues, noting that he is one of only two doctors in Indiana who specializes in complications like second-trimester abortions. Specializes in Obstetrics.
Attorneys on both sides of the hearing called on medical privacy experts to determine whether Dr. Barnard violated guidelines under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA. which governs the protection of patient privacy..
Dr. Barnard’s employer, Indiana University Health, found that it did not violate HIPAA rules because the patient could not be identified based on the information Dr. Barnard shared publicly.
“What happened here was not cause and effect: ‘Dr.’ The doctor’s lawyer, Alice Moricle, said Bernard’s story led the patient to share his confidential information.
But the members of the medical board, consisting of six doctors and an attorney – all appointed by the governor – decided that, among the details Dr. Barnard provided about the patient, his age, his rape, her state of origin and her abortion – qualify as identifying information.
“Dr. Barnard is a skilled and competent doctor, and I would submit that he is exactly the doctor that people would want to see their children in these circumstances,” Ms Moricle said.