2 medical aides at W. Phila. abortion clinic are not M.D.s
Those guys aren't doctors!
That was the reaction of state authorities Friday when they tried to verify the licenses of two people listed as medical doctors at Dr. Kermit B. Gosnell's West Philadelphia abortion clinic, which this week was hit with a series of gruesome allegations.
Steps away from the entrance to Gosnell's clinic, at 38th Street and Lancaster Avenue, a sign identifies Gosnell's externs, who are nonresident doctors or medical students, as Steven Masoff and G.A. Arthur.
The sign clearly identifies both as M.D.'s.
But neither is licensed to practice in the state, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State. The Daily News was unable Friday night to reach Masoff or Arthur for comment.
State law requires that doctors have a medical license, renewable every two years, to practice here.
"That's within the scope of our investigation of Dr. Gosnell, and therefore we can't comment," said Charlie Young, a Department of State spokesman.
Gosnell, 69, has come under harsh scrutiny this week after his clinic, the Women's Medical Society, was linked to the deaths of two women who received abortions there.
One woman, Karnamaya Mongar, died after she was heavily medicated by an allegedly unlicensed employee of Gosnell's before an abortion on Nov. 20.
On Monday, state investigators suspended Gosnell's license for 30 days, labeling his clinic "deplorable" and describing him as an "immediate and clear danger to the public."
Since then, numerous women have come forward with tales of botched abortions and severe injuries that they claim they suffered at Gosnell's hands.
West Philadelphia resident Marie Smith, 33, told the Daily News this week that she nearly died when Gosnell left the arm and leg of a fetus inside her after he performed an abortion on her in 1999. Smith sued Gosnell and was awarded $5,000 in 2003, court records show.
Several other women echoed similar tales, many of which ended up in litigation.
In all, 46 civil lawsuits have been filed over the years against Gosnell, although not all have been related to medical malpractice.
But it was not allegations of malpractice that led the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration to raid the clinic on Feb. 18; at the time, a law-enforcement source said, the agents were there to investigate claims that Gosnell was writing phony prescriptions for painkillers.
Once inside, authorities said, they discovered "unsanitary" conditions, including bloodstained floors and bottled fetus remains.
While each day has brought a fresh dose of disturbing allegations, no criminal charges have been filed against Gosnell, noted his attorney, William J. Brennan.
"His office was raided. He cooperated. He didn't run away," Brennan said. "This whole thing could resolve itself without any charges being filed. If they are filed, we'll respond."
Gosnell declined to be interviewed by the Daily News Friday night, but told a Fox29 reporter on Thursday that he expected to be vindicated.
"I provide the same care that I would want my daughter to receive," Gosnell said, noting that he had lived through negative publicity before.