Semiconscious, moaning women sat in dirty recliners and on bloodstained blankets. The air reeked of urine from the flea-infested cats permitted to roam the clinic. There was blood on the floor and cat feces on the stairs. One investigator likened the scene to "a bad gas-station restroom."That was just the tip of the iceberg as the grand jury report notes as Gosnell allegedly murdered babies that were born alive during botched late term abortion procedures. Gosnell allegedly carried out abortions at all times during the pregnancy regardless of state law restrictions. He paid no attention to sanitary conditions and his patients suffered horribly and needlessly as unlicensed and unskilled assistants aided Gosnell in his his procedures.
State regulators failed to stop Gosnell for years. The grand jury report slams regulators across multiple state administrations and law enforcement agencies that should have done their due diligence to investigate multiple claims against Gosnell over the years.
Not only should the AMA and the individual specialty boards better police their own members, but the state department of healths/ licensing boards must do a better job weeding out the bad doctors.
They need to better investigate claims of malfeasance and take action in a prompt manner. Gosnell was able to practice for years on end without any state official reviewing his case files or even going to his offices to see the horrendous conditions for themselves. The state of Pennsylvania failed to protect these women from Gosnell botching abortion after abortion and putting lives in jeopardy - to say nothing of murdering those babies that were born alive after botched abortions.
Some states are moving ahead with online databases to review license statuses and disciplinary records, but that effort is limited should a doctor move around the country one step ahead of the regulatory agencies. A doctor in NJ could move over to PA or NY to continue practicing.
What's probably needed is a multistate compact that requires mandatory reporting and licensing issues to all states and allows states to coordinate their efforts to weed out bad doctors.
That would also help go to reduce the cost of health care since bad doctors are more likely to engage in medical malpractice and have complications arise from their procedures.
The District Attorney prosecuting the case, Seth Williams notes that the seven murder charges is probably only the tip of the iceberg and that Gosnell and his nine associates likely murdered hundreds:
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams charged Dr. Kermit Gosnell and nine associates with seven counts of murder involving babies, but said hundreds of others likely died in the squalid clinic that Gosnell ran from 1979 to 2010.
The defendants face first-degree murder in the cases of seven babies for which there is substantial evidence, Williams said. The babies were born alive and viable, he said.
"My comprehension of the English language can't adequately describe the barbaric nature of Dr. Gosnell," Williams said at a news conference.
Williams said he may seek the death penalty for Gosnell, 69, who with his associates was arrested on Wednesday.
Gosnell was charged with murder, infanticide, conspiracy, abortion at 24 or more weeks and other charges.
Pennsylvania law prohibits abortion after 24 weeks except to save the life of the mother or avoid serious health risk to her.