William Malcolm Knarr, Seedy Abortionist
As part of my ongoing effort to describe what three decades of legalized abortion have unleashed on American women and girls, I bring you information on William Malcolm Knarr, based on an affidavit by a former employee. Please keep in mind that Knarr's full exploits are not covered here, just the observations of one person. The following allegations are from the affidavit of former employee "S.M.," dated 10-22-92.
There were no nurses on Knarr's staff, no RNs, no LPNs. All staff, including a receptionist with no medical training, started IVs to produce anesthesia and restore consciousness.
The anesthesia used caused transient amnesia. Women who changed their mind and resisted proceeding with the abortion were given more Versed. Said the former employee, "If a woman asked Knarr to stop the procedure, he ignored her because he felt she was drugged up and wouldn't remember it."
All staff but one assisted in abortion procedures -- and remember, these staff were not nurses or othe medical professionals. They were not qualified to deal with the potentially life-threatening emergencies that can arise during an abortion.
Instead of having a traned ultrasound technician, one employee was trained to perform sonograms. Since ultrasound is used to verify the pregnancy, to verify that the uterus is normal in configuration, that the embryo or fetus is indeed in the uterus and not in a fallopian tube, and the age of the embryo, mistakes in ultrasounds can be dangerous to the patient. Mistakes in performing these tasks can lead to life-threatening errors.
Due to an error in sonogram reading, one patient was discovered to have an advanced pregnancy beyond 16 weeks, resulting in lodging of fetal head, which Knarr crushed with clamps.
Patients were required to pay for the abortion before any other activity, including counseling and ultrasounds. Patients who changed their minds about having an abortion would be charged for an office visit and sonogram, in the amount of about $90, even if she had not seen the doctor at all.
After the patient's payment was collected, she would be given materials to read, which described the abortion procedure as safe, and not in compliance with material "which is supposed to be given to the woman eight hours before her abortion." Help with adoption was not offered. Patients were told verbally and in written materials not to believe any information given to them by prolife protesters or sidewalk counselors as they entered the clinic; no one at the facility would review the material first and check if the information was accurate or not. Women counseled personally by Knarr always followed through with abortion.
Patients who paid in cash had their abortions done that same day, regardless of informed consent or whether or not they had eaten before arriving at the facility. Not only did this violate informed consent requirements, it placed patients at high risk of aspirating during the abortion and possibly choking. This could result in brain damage or even death.
Patients were not required to provide identification to prove that they were of age to sign the consent forms.
In order to hide the fact that the clinic was violating regulations by having the staff member who had done counseling assisting in the abortion, staff would sign records for each other's patients.
The training for counselors consisted of reading materials that they were given.
The staffer who scheduled an abortion was given a percentage of the abortion fee. Cash paid for abortions often was unaccounted for.
The medical history, blood pressure, and Rh factor testing were done by the unqualified staff. RhoGam was given in doses not in accordance with the Physicians Desk Reference.
Knarr, the only physician on staff, would be notified by telephone when all the patients were present. At least the first four patients were to be prepped, with their feet in the stirrups, ready for their abortions, upon Knarr's arrival. This meant that patient prep was being done with no medical personnel present at the facility at all.
Once Knarr arrived, Knarr would sometimes meet with his staff for as long as two hours, leaving the patients unattended on the abortion table.
After laminaria were inserted, women would be sent out of the facility to occupy themselves, rather than being provided with a place to rest.
There was no procedure for verifying that all fetal tissue had bee removed. The fetal tissues were stored in an unrefrigerated barrel inside the back door of the clinic. One employee found a four-inch fetus in the clinic garbage disposal. In cases where less than 10 cc of material was removed, tissues were sent to a pathologist. However, if the pathology report indicated that the abortion was incomplete or had removed no fetal tissue at all, women were not notified and no effort was made to determine the reason there wasn't fetal tissue in the specimin. This put the women at risk of ruptured ectopic pregnancy and other potentially life-threatening complications.
It was common for patients to suffer tears of the cervis. Pelvic inflammatory disease was common. Knarr once left a tenaculum and speculum inside a patient.
Neither post-abortion counseling nor referrals were provided.
The police officer who responded regularly to calls about the prolifers outside the facility was dating a clinic staff member.
Blood was drawn in the exam room in the clinic kitchen, and was stored with food in the refrigerator.
After OSHA inspectors found areas of non-compliance, Knarr took no corrective actions to conform to OSHA standards.
One empolyee used Methamphetamine during work hours, and Knarr's clinic employees smoked marijuana at a picnic at Knarr's house.
Knarr often arrived appearing disheveled, and appeared to be high on drugs on occasions. Knar once completed abortions after stating that he was not alert due to having taken drugs. Knarr took Talwin from sample packages. An employee heard Knarr phoning prescriptions for Xanax for himself and another employee. A Wal-mart pharmacist told an employee that Wal-mart would no longer accept prescriptions from Knarr due to an investigation of Knarr overprescribing drugs.
A 16-year-old girl's mother called "in tears" after abortion stating that Knarr had "torn up" the girl's uterus and that as a result she suffered fever, hospitalization, and sterility.
Besides the allegations raised by this former employee, it should be noted that Karr was sued for an incomplete abortion and other cases of malpractice; he lost his hospital privileges. Knarr was conviced in Oklahoma for sale of marijuana and LSD and possession of hashish, but had failed to disclose this on a federal applicationl A petition to revoke his license listed multiple violations and said, "Licensee has the inability to practice the branch of the Healing Arts for which he is licensed with reasonable skill and safety to patients by reason of illness, alcoholism, excessive use of drugs, controlled substances, chemical or any other type of material or as a result of any mental or physical condition."
Knarr's license was finally suspended in 1994, and expired in 1996. In 1997, his license was reinstated but kept in suspended status.
Knarr was a member of the National Abortion Federation.
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