Sunday, January 22, 2012

Washington Planned Parenthood Was Sued for Botched Cancer Screening, Patient Died

In the last year or so we've finally witnessed serious discussions at the national level, if not here in Washington, over cutting funding to the most repulsive organization in America, Planned Parenthood.

PP has tried to draw attention away from their primary reason for existence, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of babies every year, and the millions of dollars they make from doing that. They used to try to get people to focus on their birth control agenda, but recently they've chosen to use their "life-saving cancer screening" work as a defensive marketing ploy. Of course their friends in the media have dutifully and mindlessly played along.

In fact, Seattle's own Natasha Ryan, from King 5, treated us to one such rot-gut story about how Planned Parenthood offers things like pap smears for low income women who "wouldn't have anywhere else to turn".

And never to be outdone in this department, Seattle's own village idiot and abortion industry stooge Nicole Brodeur published an obligatory piece along the same lines.

But AbortionInWashington has for the first time gotten hold of court records which show how a local woman died after going to Planned Parenthood in Federal Way, south of Seattle, for a pap smear. She died because she did, in fact, have cancer, and PP missed it. She sued Planned Parenthood, but it was too late; she passed away, at the age of just 34, of endocervical adenocarcinoma, which metastasized into her brain and liver because it went undiagnosed.

To be clear, a woman died because she want to Planned Parenthood for preventative health care.

The tragedy happened about 10 years ago. The victim's name was Caroline Carnahan. During the course of her illness, she got married to a Christopher Dahl, who continued the lawsuit on behalf of her estate.

From the court records: "The case involves the failure of Planned Parenthood's employee, Jane Watts, ARNP, to timely refer Caroline Carnahan for testing and work-up for a cervical cancer that was in her differential diagnosis. As a result of this failure, Caroline died of cervical adenocarcinoma on September 22, 2001."

What should be particularly disturbing for PP clients is that Ms. Carnahan's story started with her perfectly following the PP love & sex script. She met a new guy, started having sex with him, went to Planned Parenthood, got on birth control thanks to Planned Parenthood, bought some sex toys (sorry, fair readers, but it's pertinent to the case). You see, as PP's own experts testified during the discovery stage of the case, the side effects from getting on hormonal birth control ("irregular bleeding") and using her new "toys" are very similar to the early symptoms of cervical cancer, so PP missed the cancer symptoms, mistaking them for side effects of Ms. Carnahan's obedient following of PP's free love recipes.

PP patients will hardly be reassured by this part of PP's defense: "Dr. Cameron McIntyre ... will testify that Planned Parenthood's protocols do not require further testing if the Pap smear is negative and the bleeding can be explained by other factors such as birth control pills, infection, or mechanical trauma." In other words, they would do exactly the same thing again that led to this woman's death!

And the screw-up by PP wasn't because they fobbed Ms. Carnahan off to one of their short-term, unqualified, "I'm working at PP because no-one else will employ me" nurses. The nurse overseeing Carnahan's case was a Jane Watts, ARNP, who was supposedly "one of PP's very qualified and most experienced nurse practitioners", according to testimony from "Dr." Cam McIntyre, who has been and still is the well-compensated Chief Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of Western Washington (now PP of the Great Northwest).  It's worth noting that while the case occurred several years ago, some of the key actors in the case for PP are still there today.

But any "botched pap smear" story must also involve a pathology lab. PP at that time did not do its own lab tests, and even if they missed all the early symptoms of cervical cancer, the lab results should have come back positive. The lawsuit records show that Carnahan sued Skagit Pathology and Washington Pathology Consultants in addition to Planned Parenthood because of their role in the incident, and settled with them (in October 2002).

Originally PP's defense did not include supporting Carnahan's case against the pathology labs. From the court records: "Planned Parenthood has never alleged Dynacare or Skagit Pathology were negligent." It was only after Carnahan settled with the lab that PP did a legal u-turn and tried to pass all the blame to the lab; but the case continued to the verge of trial even after the settlement, with just PP as the defendant. Clearly the judge had decided that there was enough evidence to go to trial against Planned Parenthood alone.

One of the legal dramas revealed in the court records occurred when PP suddenly tried to change their mind about calling on their cherry-picked "medical expert" to give her interpretation of the pap smear slides. No explanation was given, and this move came after the legal deadline to make such changes; they notified the court just one month before the scheduled trial date, knowing full well that this would break the court's rules. It seems they felt desperate. They are of course accustomed to getting all the rules broken in their favor.

The case was ultimately settled, in 2003, just before the trial began, after Ms. Carnahan had died. The terms of the settlement are unknown at this time.

Any would-be PP clients who have bought into PP's snake-oil marketing spiel about being a "trustworthy", non-profit, friend to horny youngsters should read the vigorous legal defense brought by their attorneys: Michael R Green and Steven Caplow working for Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, in Seattle.  That heartless, well-funded juggernaut is exactly what you'll be up against, or worse, if PP screws up your "health care" and you come seeking relief.

"Journalists" like Ms. Ryan and Ms. Brodeur would look less like useful idiots if they did a little more research and covered stories like the dead Ms. Carnahan's in their own back yard before regurgitating Planned Parenthood's propaganda about "saving women's lives".


chimakuni said...

too, sadly, true [your last comment]

Linda said...

sad story