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Scott Barrett Wrap-Up
Yet another provider of vital reproductive health care services
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Dateline: 7/23/01

In addition to the death of Stacy Ruckman, I've covered two botched abortions at Dr. Scott Barrett's safe-n-legal reproductive health care clinic, nestled in the basement of a used car lot.

The most damning complaint about Barrett came to light after Stacy Ruckman's death. The medical board noted: "Barrett would rapidly push the lidocaine into each side of the patient's cervical region waiting no more than one to two seconds between injecting each side. ... approximately two patients per day would experience seizure activity where they would become nonresponsive, their respirations would cease and their body would shake. ... the patient would be disoriented, unresponsive and almost asleep. ... Barrett, during a conversation with another employee ... commented that when his patients have a toxic reaction to the lidocaine it made the procedure go more quickly because the patient was more relaxed.... Barrett purposefully and deliberately injected these patients with more than the acceptable dosage ... to create a general anesthetic effect so he could more quickly and easily perform the abortion procedure."

Between the medical board documents and the lawsuit filed by Stacy Ruckman's parents, we get an unflattering portrait of Barrett and his clinic. Documents indicate:

Stop a minute and recall the severity of what the medical board discovered. After investigating Barrett, the medical board found out that instead of using general anesthesia for abortions, Barrett would deliberately push too much Lidocaine, a local anesthetic. This would cause the patients to have a toxic reaction, which put the patients into a relaxed state similar to general anesthesia, and made the abortions go easier. Roughly two patients every day would stop breathing, go into seizures, and become unresponsive. One patient, Stacy Ruckman, died.

Despite this evidence that Barrett had been playing Russian Roulette with his patients' lives -- a deadly game Stacy Ruckman lost -- Barrett had the gall to tell a local reporter that the investigation of his clinic constituted "just another tactic by the governor and the attorney general to further eliminate [abortion providers]."

And, just to round out our picture of this compassionate provider of vital reproductive health care services for women, we can reflect that Barrett had been arrested twice for drunk driving: once in 1984, and once in 1988. (Springfield News & Leader 6-9-91, St. Louis County Circuit Court Cause No. 502545)

To paraphrase Marvin the Paranoid Android: "Call that an improvement on 'back-alley butchers.' 'Cause I don't."

Sources: Southeast Missourian March 1990; St. Louis Post-Dispatch 8-2-92, 3-5-90; Springfield News-Leader 6-9-91, 3-18-92; Greene County Circuit Court Case No. CV188-67SCC2; Kansas City Star 8-7-92; Columbia Daily Tribune 1-29-91; Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission No. 90-000255HA

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