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Judge Bars Doctor From Practicing

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A state administrative judge Wednesday ordered a Studio City doctor with a long history of disciplinary actions, who also faces criminal charges in a botched abortion, not to practice medicine or even enter a medical office until a hearing can be held on whether to permanently strip him of his license.

The action against Dr. Gordon Goei was ordered because he “engaged in acts constituting a violation of the Medical Practice Act, and permitting him to continue to engage in practicing in his profession” until a full-scale hearing could be held “will endanger the public health,” ruled Administrative Hearing Judge William Byrnes.

Goei, 57, whose state medical license was already suspended, was ordered to return to the administrative court May 15 for a hearing that could lead to its being revoked.

Goei also is the subject of a pretrial hearing today in Los Angeles County Superior Court, where he faces two felony counts of illegally practicing medicine and performing an illegal abortion.

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If convicted, Goei could be sentenced to a maximum of three years in state prison on those charges, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Goei pleaded not guilty at his arraignment more than a month ago.

The Medical Board of California alleges that Goei, who has been placed on probation four times since 1979, according to his attorney, has a 99-page file of problems and disciplinary actions dating to 1979, including a March abortion that left his 42-year-old patient bleeding uncontrollably and a 26-week-old fetus in a trash bag at the Van Nuys clinic where he worked.

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In the criminal case, the prosecution alleges that the abortion was performed illegally because Goei’s license was under suspension at the time.

“We’re very optimistic that we can demonstrate that Dr. Goei has been nothing short of exemplary in his 30 years as a doctor,” said Trent Copeland, Goei’s attorney for the administrative hearing.

“There was a powerful showing of potential harm,” said Robert McKim Bell, a deputy state attorney general handling the case for the Medical Board.

Bell said he is optimistic that Byrnes will permanently revoke Goei’s license in May. Until then, Bell said, the judge’s order means “he can’t practice medicine--he can’t even go into a medical office building unless he’s visiting a friend or sick.”

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Byrnes ruled that until the hearing next month, Goei cannot practice or attempt to practice medicine; advertise himself as available to practice; be present at any medical facility or office save to visit friends or unless he is a patient himself, and he cannot possess, purchase, receive, prescribe or otherwise distribute controlled substances.

Goei has been disciplined since 1979 for, among other acts, gross negligence in dealing with two of his patients, knowingly making or signing a falsified medical document, and professional incompetence in his treatment of eight gynecological surgery patients, Bell said.

“He is clearly a danger to the public if he’s allowed to continue practicing,” Bell said.

Although Goei could not be reached for comment, Copeland painted a picture of a persecuted doctor who, despite the charges, has practiced medicine legally and competently for more than three decades.

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“As my client has said, this is a witch hunt and it has been going on for many years,” Copeland said.


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