May/June, 1998 Volume XII Number 12

Abortionist charged with murder; charges reduced

Van Nuys, CA -- A second abortionist within a year has been charged with murder in California.
Gordon Sean Goei, a suspended physician with a long history of disciplinary action, was arrested in his Coldwater Canyon Avenue home on March 19 on suspicion of murder and held on $1 million bail.
After a 42-year-old abortion customer was taken to Northridge Hospital Medical Center for uncontrollable bleeding, it was uncovered that her child had been 26-weeks-old at the time Goei killed the baby. Such late term abortions are said to be illegal in California unless performed in a full-service hospital and there are other pre-conditions. Goei's lack of certification is also said to be a factor.
"The hypocrisy of our nation to determine a child to be human or not depending on the certification of the killer is sickening and sad," said Chris Finch, director of the anti-abortion group, The Survivors.
In late 1997, abortionist Bruce Steir was charged with murder in the death of one of his abortion customers ( Life Advocate, January/February 1998). Steir also had a long history of disciplinary action. What distinguishes this case is that the murder charge is related to the death of the child rather than the mother.
Goei, 57, was placed on probation last September 19 after the Medical Board of California found him guilty of "negligence and incompetence in his care and treatment of several patients." The Board's most serious penalties are license revocation, suspension, and probation.
Originally the Board had decided to revoke Goei's license, but they were overruled by an administrative law judge, Humberto Flores, in Los Angeles. Goei was then placed on probation. He was required to pass an exam to retain the probationary status.
On March 13, Goei's license was suspended after he failed the exam.
But he was still performing abortions at Family Medical Group's Centro Medico Family Planning at 6900 Van Nuys Blvd.
The medical group's spokesman, Candace Coen, said, "If you're a doctor with a suspended license, you're not supposed to be practicing."
After the abortion customer appeared at Northridge Hospital, police raided the abortuary and found the 26-week-old child's body in a garbage bag in the trash. Police would not discuss what other things they found, but one officer was overheard saying, "I didn't know humanity sunk this low."
The coroner's office has performed an autopsy, but will not release the results because of the ongoing investigation. The Van Nuys District Attorney's office was to decide whether the murder charge is warranted, but inexplicably turned the case over to the downtown Los Angeles District Attorney's office less than a week later.
"It may have been just too hot for the Van Nuys office to handle," said Laura Sharp, a local activist.
The case was then handled by Bob Dawson of a special unit in the LA office which handles legal/medical issues where the charges were reduced to illegal practice of medicine and performing an illegal abortion. Bail was reduced to $75,000.
According to sources who asked not to be named, Van Nuys police and others are still pressing the LADA's office to reinstate the murder charges.
Goei's problems with the Board go back to 1979. His history fills a 99-page file at the Board where he has been disciplined four times. His disciplinary history began when he was found guilty in May 4, 1979 of using a fictitious name in his practice without a valid permit. He was placed on a one-year probation. On June 25, 1984, Goei was found guilty of gross negligence and incompetence for wrong diagnoses and unnecessary surgeries and was again given a one-year probation. In 1992, Goei was disciplined by the Board for "knowingly making" a false medical document. He was given three years probation.

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