Ralph RobinsonabortionistsmaleAbortionist Ralph Robinson
Botched abortions at Summit Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama
The Missouri Medical board indicates that Robinson was licensed with restrictions in 1988. The Ohio medical board suspended his license in 1989. The Kentucky board placed restrictions on his license in 1988, and denied his request to terminate the probation August 14, 1990.
Robinson’s Tennessee license was placed on probation in 1990, with a restriction on prescribing Schedule II or Schedule III drugs. Washington, DC disciplined him in 1990 for filing a document he knew or should have known was false or misleading. He voluntarily surrendered his California license in 1991 while charges were pending related to frequently prescribing, dispensing, or administering controlled substances for undiagnosed pain, for prolonged periods of time and in appropriate combinations. He was also disciplined 1991 in Virginia due to disciplinary action in other states. (Medical Board letter 1-17-92; California Medical Board No. D-4277)
Despite all these problems, Robinson’s Kentucky office was a NAF member, according to the 1991 Annual Report.
An unnamed patient I’ll call “Shenise” filed suit after April 20, 1988, abortion by Ralph Robinson at Chattanooga Women’s Center. She alleged that she was not adequately informed of risks but was just given forms to sign without sufficient time to read them. She was told her $250 fee would not be refunded if she changed her mind about going through with the abortion. She was told to answer to a color rather than her name.
When she returned two weeks later for follow-up, the clinic was closed. Two months later she still felt pregnant, and was found to be 4 1/2 months pregnant; she experienced bleeding and pain and required emergency surgery. (Chattanooga News Free Press 4-21-89)
Rhonda B. alleged in a 1991 suit that Robinson, over the age of 70 at the time, performed her abortion on March 2, 1990 at Chattanooga Women’s Clinic. Rhonda said that Robinson appeared rushed and began the procedure immediately upon entering the room, giving Rhonda no time to ask questions.
Rhonda screamed in pain during the abortion. Afterward she was rushed to Erlanger Hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery for a ruptured uterus, lacerated intestines, and massive bleeding, potentially fatal.
The scalped head of the fetus was surgically removed from Rhonda’s abdominal cavity.
Rhonda was hospitalized for seven days. her suit also states “Clinic’s records show that the patient was in good condition after the recovery when in fact her very life was in danger,” and that “Robinson did not maintain any privileges at any hospital in Hamilton County, Tennessee and was not able to admit [the patient] to a facility equipped to handle her life-threatening condition.” Her suit also noted that Robinson did not contact the doctor treating Rhonda’s complications to provide information or assistance. Robinson was also found to be “judgment proof” due to lack of malpractice insurance and transfer of assets out of his name. (US District Court, Eastern Tennessee District, Southern Division Case No. CIV-1-90-423; Hamilton County Circuit Court Docket Number 91CV-467)
Stacey W. alleged that she underwent an abortion by Robinson at Summit Medical Center in April of 1992. She suffered a perforated uterus, and her right ureter was suctioned from her body. Yikes! Stacey was rushed to the hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery to remove the fetus and her damaged kidney. (The Birmingham News 10-15-92)
Maurine W. submitted to an abortion performed by Robinson at Summit Medical Center on December 10, 1982. Maurine faulted the clinic with lack of informed consent, failure to provide proper post-abortion care, and improper and negligent advise regarding her deteriorating condition. Maurine was been discharged after her abortion.
She called the clinic on December 14, and spoke to a woman who told her no nurse was available and diagnosed her feelings of morning sickness as a “neurotic reaction.” On December 18 Maureen called again, again was told a nurse was not available. She reported cramping and morning sickness, and was told her symptoms were normal.
Maurine suffered sharp pains at 4 PM, after calling the clinic. She got up and fainted. She awoke cold and clammy, and tried to go for help but fainted again. A neighbor saw her and called an ambulance.
Maurine needed lifesaving surgery to address an ectopic pregnancy that the clinic had failed to address.
In his defense, Robinson argued that Maureen “failed to produce even a scintilla of evidence that this defendant violated any standard of care.” Robinson’s operative report stated “product of conception was normal and the fetal age was 6 weeks,” but the pathology report showed endometrium and chorionic villi only with no fetal parts.
Robinson contended in his deposition that the fetus was microscopic, although the normal length of 6 week embryo is 22-24 mm (just under an inch). The post-operative report from Maurine’s emergency surgery found “fetal tissue fairly well preserved” in the removed segment of fallopian tube. Robinson also contended that Maureen never called him to report her symptoms, although she did call the number she was instructed to call and the clinic failed to relay her symptoms to Robinson. (Jefferson County Circuit Court Case No. CV84 460; Alabama Supreme Court No. 85-1055)
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