Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

NJ abortion doctor agrees to temporarily halt practice

Abortion doctor Steven C. Brigham, whose main regional clinic, American Women's Services, is in Voorhees, has agreed to "cease and desist" from medical practice in New Jersey while preparing his defense against charges that he is a threat to public safety. In a three-page document filed with the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners Friday, Brigham denied the allegations by Attorney General Paula T. Dow that he was an "imminent danger to the public health, safety and welfare." The charges stem from a botched abortion in August on an 18-year-old woman who was in her 21st week of pregnancy.

NJ abortion doctor agrees to temporarily halt practice

Stephen Chase Brigham´s company, American Women´s Services, has headquarters and one of its six New Jersey clinics at 1 Alpha Ave., Voorhees.
Stephen Chase Brigham's company, American Women's Services, has headquarters and one of its six New Jersey clinics at 1 Alpha Ave., Voorhees. APRIL SAUL / Staff Photographer

Abortion doctor Steven C. Brigham, whose main regional clinic, American Women's Services, is in Voorhees, has agreed to “cease and desist” from medical practice in New Jersey while preparing his defense against charges that he is a threat to public safety.

In a three-page document filed with the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners Friday, Brigham denied the allegations by Attorney General Paula T. Dow that he was an “imminent danger to the public health, safety and welfare.” The charges stem from a botched abortion in August on an 18-year-old woman who was in her 21st week of pregnancy.

Referred to only as "D.B.," the young woman was taken from Brigham's Voorhees clinic, where the state says the abortion was started,  to another facility he owns in Elkton, Md., where the surgical procedure was done. There the teenager "suffered a uterine perforation and small bowel injury" that were so severe that she had to be airlifted to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

The care that Brigham gave to that patient and others “constituted gross negligence,” the Attorney General’s complaint stated.

In his signed response Friday, Brigham denied the alleged conduct, but in exchange for additional time to prepare his defense, agreed to “voluntarily cease and desist from the practice of medicine” in New Jersey effective on Sept. 16.

Brigham agreed that he would not prescribe or dispense any medications or provide medical care while the medical board considers the Attorney General’s application to temporarily suspend Brigham’s license at its next meeting on Oct 13. That application is the initial step in revoking a license or imposing other sanctions against a doctor.

Brigham’s action “shall not be construed as an admission of any liability” on his part,  according to the agreement signed by both sides. Nor would it be considered a disciplinary action that would have to be reported to federal and regulatory authorities in other states.

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Check Up covers major health events in our region and offers everything from personal health advice to an expert look at health reform. Read about some of our bloggers here.

For Inquirer.com. Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section

Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
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