A former physician at Planned Parenthood is facing charges of unethical practices and sexual misconduct.
Deputy Attorney General Katisha Fortune filed a May 30 complaint against Timothy Fouch Liveright with the state Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline. Liveright, a resident of Wysox, Pa., performed surgical abortions at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Wilmington.
According to Delaware Planned Parenthood Vice President of Public Affairs Amelia Auner, Liveright no longer works at the facility. She said she could not comment further due to employee confidentiality.
According to the complaint, Liveright was reprimanded March 13, 2012 for screaming and cursing in front of Planned Parenthood patients and employees; he was also rebuked for sexually harassing female employees.
Between Feb. 12 and March 13, Fortune states, Liveright over-sedated patients; performed unnecessary suction procedures; failed to assess a patient’s airway, lungs and heart prior to sedation; and did not properly document procedures.
The complaint also says Liveright caused at least one perforation during surgery, and some of his patients required emergency hospital treatment.
Liveright surrendered his license to practice medicine in Delaware April 22, according to the complaint. The documents also state Liveright’s license to practice in Pennsylvania is still active.
“Based on respondent’s serious and repeated acts of misconduct, unprofessional conduct, incompetence and negligence and that respondent has active medical licenses in Delaware and Pennsylvania, respondent presents a clear and immediate danger to the public,” the complaint states.
Fortune asks the board to permanently revoke Liveright’s medical license.
According to Department of Justice Spokesman Jason Miller, the board will schedule a hearing on the charges against Liveright; he will likely file a response to the complaint prior to the hearing date.
The complaint arose from an inspection of the Planned Parenthood in Wilmington April 15. Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Spokeswoman Jill Fredel said the unannounced inspection was prompted when an ambulance was dispatched to the facility.
In a joint statement from DHSS Division of Public Health and Department of State Division of Professional Regulation, the agencies said they found evidence of unprofessional conduct by a physician, who has since voluntarily surrendered his medical license to practice in Delaware and is no longer employed by Planned Parenthood.
According to the statement, the Division of Professional Regulation forwarded information about its investigation to the Attorney General’s Office for possible disciplinary action before the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline. DPR Director James Collins confirmed the physician referenced in the statement was Liveright.
Doctor calls accusations excessive
Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich and Joyce Vasikonis – two former Planned Parenthood nurses who worked with Liveright – told state lawmakers May 29 Planned Parenthood facilities in Dover and Wilmington are focused only on maximum profits, not on patient care. “Physicians were paid by procedure,” Vasikonis said.
The nurses also said Liveright behaved inappropriately with patients and staff, and Mitchell-Werbrich said she once saw him strike a patient.
She said medications to sedate, reduce discomfort and prevent certain diseases in newborns are often administered incorrectly or not administered at all. She also said Liveright once left the facility abruptly – after patients had been drugged and were awaiting surgery – on what he called an emergency, but what was actually an appointment to have his private airplane fixed.
Mitchell-Werbrich had previously sent a complaint to Delaware Division of Professional Regulation stating Liveright often looked female patient up and down in a sexual way.
In a May 31 phone conversation, Liveright said he does not know why the nurses have singled him out. “They seem to think they’re saving the world, and God bless them for doing that,” he said.
Liveright called the situation a tempest in a teapot. “The whole thing is way out of whack,” he said.
Liveright asked that his attorney, Richard Galperin, be contacted for any further comment on the case. Galperin did not respond to requests for comment.