Doctor surrenders license after state board accuses him of injuring woman during abortion

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A doctor who worked at various Family Planning Associates clinics, including in Bakersfield, has surrendered his license after the state medical board accused him of injuring a woman while performing an abortion where he could not clearly see what he was doing.

Donald Clyde Willis admitted each allegation brought against him by the Medical Board of California was true in surrendering his physician’s and surgeon’s certificate, according to board documents. The board’s order accepting the surrender of his license took effect Nov. 25.

The accusation brought against Willis stemmed from his treatment of three patients in 2017. It alleged gross negligence, repeated negligent acts and failure to maintain adequate and accurate medical records.

It’s unclear if any of the incidents occurred in Bakersfield.

In October 2017, Willis performed an abortion despite not being able to clearly see what he was doing, according to the accusation. The patient was rushed to a hospital, where she suffered cardiac arrest and was resuscitated.

Surgeons found the woman suffered a perforated uterus, among other injuries, according to the accusation. Willis didn’t take into account potential risk factors such as unstable vital signs and abnormal anatomy, the document said, and instead of using an imaging device proceeded by “blindly dilating where he believed the cervical opening was located.”

In another incident, Willis failed to document “numerous pertinent facts” in the medical record of a patient on whom he performed an abortion and placed a contraceptive device, the accusation said. And the third case described in the accusation alleged Willis did not document what tissues he removed from a woman who began “suddenly jerking” during surgery, tearing her cervix, before transporting her to a hospital.

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