Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Extremely Wordy (Dr.) Wonderful Wednesday


Most importantly: The big rally is going to be on Friday, May 14th. Important as the Mother's Day rally was, it was a thrown together quickly in order to make an immediate show of support. The Friday rally will be the real shebang. Click here and here for more info.

Nextly: One piece in the media thus far. No big reveals, but nice to see the coverage.

Finally: ALL of the following is from the organizers of the Facebook page, including more info, details on Friday's rally, and even more things you can do from afar:

Dr. Robert Biter is a unique physician in the San Diego community. He embraces the concept of a woman's right to choose a natural birth. He literally embodies the entire gamut of birthing options that an informed health care provider can offer to a woman and her family in a society that increasingly demands baby-friendly and healthy/organic birthing solutions. In supporting his patients' natural birthing decisions, he also offers the best possible medical and surgical expertise should emergency medical intervention become necessary in the birth process. The patients choose their births, Dr. Biter makes those choices possible as long as the choices are safe, and the patients love him. They call him Dr. Wonderful.

Dr. Biter has held staff privileges at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas in Encinitas, California for the last 8 years. During his time at Scripps, he has held the title of Department Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as having headed up the hospital's ethics committee. He has won Best Doctor in San Diego two years in a row by Ranch and Coast Magazine.

With no warning on Friday May 7, 2010, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas suspended Dr. Biter's obstetrical privileges effective immediately.

Scripps decision to suspend Dr. Biter's privileges has left both Dr. Biter and Dr. Biter's expecting patients reeling and confused. At the most critical time in their pregnancy, Scripps has made it impossible for these women to have the doctor of their choosing deliver their babies; and the likelihood of finding another physician who understands and supports natural birthing is slim to none. The majority of these women would follow Dr. Biter wherever he practices; but for him to establish staff privileges elsewhere is a time intensive endeavor. To make Scripps' actions even more unclear, there have been no claims of obstetrical malpractice filed against Dr. Biter...EVER.

On Mother's Day, May 9, 2010, the local community rallied around Dr. Biter and the message that families want the option to choose natural births in a hospital setting. The result was a Mother's Day rally in support of Dr. Biter held with less than 24-hours notice at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas in Encinitas, California. Approximately 150 people attended.

Scripps Encinitas Hospital has consistently touted themselves as a very holistic, mother-baby friendly hospital. How can they be so mother-baby friendly if they have suspended THE most mother-baby friendly obstetrician in town?

We know that the last couple whose birth he attended had no unforeseen complications that would indicate a need for suspension. The baby had meconium aspiration, which was found only at the time of the c-section. Mother & baby are doing fine. The baby is in the NICU but is breathing & eating on her own. The parents are thrilled with the way that Dr. Biter assisted them during the birth of their daughter & in no way made any complaints against him to bring about the suspension. The father attended the Mother's Day rally even though he had a newborn in the NICU. His wife recuperated in her hospital room while holding a sign that read, "We support Dr. Biter".

Dr. Biter needs to be reinstated immediately so that he can provide continuity of care to his patients that are expected to go into labor at any moment. He is such a dedicated person that he has come up with a backup plan of being an unpaid doula to all his patients that are in labor at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital. Anyone who wants to labor at Scripps Encinitas can change doctors or show up & birth with whoever is on call at the moment, but we believe that most, if not all, his patients will want to stay with him to continue to receive the wonderful care he has provided to them.

Here are the latest things you can do to help:

Please send all letters demanding Dr. Biter's reinstatement to:
Dr. Ronald MacCormick, Chief of Staff
Scripps Encinitas Hospital
354 Santa Fe Dr
Encinitas, CA 92024
His phone number is 760-633-7686 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 760-633-7686 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. Ask to leave a voicemail for Dr. MacCormick.
Please CC Chris Van Gorder, CEO at: 4275 Campus Point Ct, San Diego, CA 92121.

Please contact your local & state politicians to bring light to this situation:
Assemblyman, Martin Garrick
Assemblyman, Nathan Fletcher
Susan Davis
Francine Busby
Barbara Boxer
Diane Feinstein

Write letters to the editor to the local news media & newspapers highlighting Dr. Biter's suspension & the travesty of it. Call them to alert them of the upcoming rally this Friday (details below).

Write on your car windows with window paint:
Bring Dr. Biter Back!
The more people that know about this issue, the better! Sheri Menelli will have window crayons at the morning daily vigils in front of Scripps from 9-11 am so stop by & get your windows decorated.

Go show your support at a daily vigil in front of Scripps Encinitas hospital every day until he is reinstated. The vigils will be held from 9-11 am everyday until he is reinstated.

Come to the Bring Dr. Biter Back Rally this Friday, May 14th from 1:30-3:30 pm in front of Scripps Encinitas hospital. We need a lot of people so bring friends, family & neighbors. Kids & babies welcome! Wear green in significance of peace, nature & eco-consciousness, which are all thing Dr. Biter supports. RSVP at the I love Dr. Biter fan page EVENT page. Ricki Lake, author, actress & filmmaker will be there along with Anna Getty, author, actress, great-granddaughter of John Paul Getty III and creator or Pregnancy Awareness Month. There may be other celebrity supporters there as well.

Please sign the online petition at: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/bringbiterback/ to help reinstate him immediately.

We have a blog (www.bringbiterback.blogspot.com) or the I love Dr. Biter Facebook fan page that will keep you updated with the latest information.

Time is of the essence. He must get reinstated within the next 9 days or his case will go in front of the Medical Board, therefore, delaying any chance of him getting reinstated in the near future.

Thank you again for your help & support!

5 comments:

  1. Anne,

    According to the San Diego County Court website, Dr. Biter has had 7 lawsuits filed against him since 2005. Of the 7 lawsuits, 4 have named Scripps Encinitas as co-defendant, including 2 suits filed within the past 5 months.

    No wonder his privileges have been suspended.

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  2. To make things even more confusing, though, his privileges were reinstated yesterday (I got the news and posted the update in the other thread). Hours later, after I closed the older post's comments (due to someone bringing the whole discussion down by making repeated Nazi remarks), I hear that he then went on to resign?! It's all totally baffling to me. SIGH.

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  3. It may seem confusing, but it actually makes perfect sense.

    Apparently, there was never any chance of Dr. Biter continuing to practice at Scripps Encinitas. The hospital is bound by confidentiality agreements and cannot reveal the allegations, but it is likely that the 6 pending lawsuits filed within the last 5 years had something to do with it. That is an extraordinary number of lawsuits for an entire 40 year career, let alone the first decade of practice.

    But Dr. Biter was able to negotiate something other than the worst possible outcome for himself. By law, the hospital was required to notify the Board of Medicine within 15 days if his privileges were suspended or revoked, automatically triggering an investigation by the board that could lead to the loss of Dr. Biter's license. However, he managed to avoid that investigation by promising to voluntarily resign if his privileges were reinstated.

    It's a win for the hospital, because they have successfully severed their relationship with Dr. Biter. Obviously it does not protect the hospital from the lawsuits that have already been filed, but it ensures that the hospital will face no further liability. It is a win for Dr. Biter, because he has avoided the most serious possible consequence of the allegations, an investigation that could lead to the permanent loss of his license to practice medicine.

    It is emphatically not a win for the women of California. Because of the deal struck between Dr. Biter and the hospital, all the allegations remain confidential. A hospital has severed its relationship with a doctor because it considers him a serious liability, but it has released him to set up shop elsewhere and continue doing whatever got him into trouble in the first place.

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  4. Well, I do think it sounds like you're right about them making an agreement. That does make sense, however frustrating it is. GAH! I guess we'll never *really* know for certain the full extent of the situation.

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