A doctor who worked at FPA Women’s Health clinics surrendered his California medical license after the state medical board alleged gross and repeated negligence. One patient went into cardiac arrest at a hospital and had her uterus removed, after the doctor attempted to perform an abortion where he couldn't see what he was doing, according to state medical board documents.
Donald Clyde Willis agreed to surrender his medical license, effective Nov. 25. As a part of his agreement, Willis admitted to the allegations brought forth by the board.
According to the medical board documents, Willis worked for various clinics throughout California for Family Planning Associates, now known as FPA Women’s Health. That included Bakersfield, but at the time of the allegations, he was working as a gynecologist performing surgical abortions in Fresno and Modesto. The company declined to comment through a spokesperson. The three cases that led to Willis surrendering his license occurred in 2017.
In two cases, the board says Willis transferred women to the hospital after performing abortions on them but without documenting key information. One woman's bleeding was increasing when she was transferred but he failed to fill in many blanks in preprinted medical record forms, including what kinds of surgical tools he used during the procedure. Another woman's cervix was torn when she began suddenly "jerking" at the end of her procedure. When she was transferred to the hospital, he failed to document what had been removed during the procedure.
The other two women recovered without complications but a third case was more serious. The board says that Willis attempted to perform an abortion on a woman despite the risks it posed to her and despite him not being able to see her cervix. The patient went into cardiac arrest, and suffered complications, including requiring a hysteroctomy and a damaged ovary and fallopian tube.