On December 21, 2011, the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts (“KSBHA”) upheld the decision it had first entered on November 21, 2011 (after a hearing 1 month earlier) to refuse to grant the application for a license to practice “osteopathic medicine and surgery” in the State of Kansas, submitted by Terrence Lee Lakin, the (former) Lieutenant Colonel who disobeyed orders to deploy to Afghanistan back in 2010.
According to this article on KCTV5 and the included video, Mr. Lakin currently holds licenses to practice in both MD and CO but had applied to obtain the KS license because he had hoped to move to that state to join his brother’s medical practice.
Now, I hope everyone leaves Mr. Lakin alone so that he can get on with the task which is likely to take longer than the rest of his life: recovering from his self-inflicted wounds.
DISCLAIMER: As far as I can tell; a recording of that October hearing cannot be directly accessed through the KSBHA web site. However, I ‘found’ what appears to be an audio recording of that hearing through a link on the Terry Lakin Action Fund website linked to a ‘news’ report containing a link to an audio of the hearing. (Interestingly, that first link on Lakin’s site appeared immediately below a link to a radio show called “Officer’s Oath” broadcast on Terry Lakin Action Fund Radio. This episode featured right wing luminary Carl Swennson (who spells his name with 2 n’s) to discuss “the continnuing question in Georgia of Eligibility…”) (What I could not find anywhere on this site was a link to documents or audio recordings related to his military court martial and conviction for violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice. But those documents can be accessed through links I provided above.)
Anyway, I cannot guarantee the provenance of the recording since I did not obtain this from the KSBHA web site. 19663LakinTerrenceO21Tra…udio.zip
I also found a transcript of the October hearing although, again, this was not through the KSBHA web site and so, again, I cannot vouch for its authenticity. http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/kctv//Lakin%20Transcript.pdf
The background to the tragedy which befell Lakin is simple enough, and has been broadly addressed. For example, I wrote about Lakin’s travails in HEROES and VILLAINS; and several others in the blogosphere have more than covered any aspects I might have missed. (The entire saga can be (roughly) pieced together from just the titles of the excellent links provided by the blog Oh, for Goodness Sake, arranged here chronologically. And NIMJ Blog-CAA FLOG is an absolutely fabulous site for all things military; a search of “Terry Lakin” yields hours of relevant material.)
Basically, based on political beliefs; the physician and soldier refused an order of military deployment to minister to troops in Afghanistan. He faced a court martial; was convicted, sentenced to 6 months’ imprisonment; and dishonorably discharged from the service. In the words of the KSBHA, his conduct evidenced “a disregard for his professional duties” which “undermines the integrity of the medical profession”; and “potentially jeopardized the health, safety and welfare of the military troops for which [he] was employed to provide medical care.” Id.
Obviously, Lakin disagreed with this interpretation, which is why he asked for reconsideration of the Board’s initial decision, in the first place.
But under the licensing rules in KS, conviction of a felony or a class A misdemeanor means, no medical license; unless the applicant can persuade the Board, he has been “rehabilitated.” (All emphasis is mine.)
(c) The licensee has been convicted of a felony or class A misdemeanor, whether or not related to the practice of the healing arts. The board shall revoke a licensee’s license following conviction of a felony occurring after July 1, 2000, unless a 2/3 majority of the board members present and voting determine by clear and convincing evidence that such licensee will not pose a threat to the public in such person’s capacity as a licensee and that such person has been sufficiently rehabilitated to warrant the public trust. In the case of a person who has been convicted of a felony and who applies for an original license or to reinstate a canceled license, the application for a license shall be denied unless a 2/3 majority of the board members present and voting on such application determine by clear and convincing evidence that such person will not pose a threat to the public in such person’s capacity as a licensee and that such person has been sufficiently rehabilitated to warrant the public trust.
Thus, having been convicted of what amounted to a misdemeanor, Lakin could only have received his medical license by convincing 2/3 of the Board, he had been rehabilitated, that is, he has either resolved not to let his politics influence his care; or, he has determined President Obama is a U.S. citizen, thus meriting the public’s trust that his politics will not interfere with his care. But, he could not meet this burden; although, as you will see, he might have.
And, notwithstanding I advocated above a ‘hands-off’ approach when it comes to the man; this fact that he might have prevailed in his hearing before the KSBHA explains why I am writing this piece. In fact, Lakin really isn’t the focus here. Rather, I am focusing on the gang of Lakin apologists who have expressed real (or feigned) outrage that the board based its January decision (not to reverse its November ruling) on an inquiry into what they – the gang – characterize are his political beliefs, bemoaning this as yet another sign of the apocalyptic loss of 1st Amendment rights. But reaching this conclusion is logically possible only when taken out of context, a gyration too often accomplished by these vacuous zealots.
Let’s examine specifically the narrow focus of the board which has spawned this vapid reaction: its questions about the President’s release of what they called his long-form birth certificate and whether this answered the Applicant’s questions as to whether President Obama is a citizen.
First, here is a video recorded at some time before this hearing in which Mr. Lakin explains, the motivating factor for his refusal to serve is the fact, President Obama has not produced a birth certificate evidencing he was born in HI.
(On a selfish note; I cannot help but notice, the language he uses here strongly mimics the language I have been using for years to describe the issues at the heart of any eligibility inquiry, especially his reference to documents “in the public domain.” Nice going, gang! Also note he finally acknowledges that, whether President Obama is a citizen has absolutely nothing to do with whether he was lawfully elected, a fact I have been arguing for years.)
Now, fast forward to the KSBHA hearing. The board asked whether, given the fact, President Obama released his long form birth certificate; Mr. Lakin now believed he was born in America. BUT THEY ALSO ASKED THIS QUESTION: “Say if and when he’s elected again the Health Reconciliation Act becomes law, which it already is, and all of a sudden we have 20 million more people who’ve got healthcare are you going to refuse those people because this is?” Lakin answered, “No, no, no.” Ah, but then, he explained, the only reason he refused to practice medicine in Afghanistan was that his life was on the line, intimating that, since his life (presumably) would not be on the line when treating patients in KS, President Obama’s non-citizenship would not come into play. That is, even faced with the direct question, he did not concede the birth certificate established the President’s citizenship.
By responding in this way, that is, by not correlating his duty to provide care solely to his being a doctor, regardless of whether President Obama’s citizenship has been established to his satisfaction; Lakin was unable to convince the board of his rehabilitation.
But now, read this ‘press release’ posted on the TLAF web site back in April 2011.
Response to the Release of the Barack Obama Birth Certificate from the Terry Lakin Action Fund
Press Release: April 27, 2011
For Immediate Release
Had the Obama administration agreed to allow the document unveiled today and other related documents as requested for discovery in Terry Lakin’s first pre-trial hearing, the matter would have been resolved and soldiers assured their military orders were lawful, given by a lawful Commander-in-Chief.
A good soldier, having played his part in this issue, would have returned enthusiastically to the service for which he is so ably trained.
…This document which was so casually dropped on the news corps could just have easily been provided twelve months ago or two years ago. Even six months ago, it would have prevented LTC Lakin being manacled and hauled away to Fort Leavenworth prison for standing up for the Constitution, consistent with the oath he took as an officer, and the rule of law.
In short, LTC Lakin admitted last April that, had President Obama released this document before he – Lakin – refused to provide medical care to his fellow soldiers; he would have provided this care. That is, he reaffirmed the level of care he would provide was predicated in the first instance on whether he believed the President was born in the USA. Just like the board imagined he would, judging by their questions and comments at the hearing.
(Seriously, imagine you are the ‘public’ whose best interests the board is ostensibly trying to protect. Would you really want them to license a physician you might need to turn to for care; knowing that care depended on your not saying the wrong thing?)
But in this statement posted on his web site; Lakin also confirmed, he believed the long-form birth certificate released by the President proved he was born in the U.S.A.
So, here’s my question. Even granting for the sake of argument, that the KSBHA improperly inquired into Lakin’s politics; and even disregarding the correlation between Lakin’s belief as to the President’s citizenship and, his willingness to provide medical care; and the public’s right to expect a certain level of care from a licensed physician; why didn’t the Applicant just repeat for the board, the same sentiment he publicly expressed 6 months earlier, that is, ‘As the result of the release of that birth certificate, I now believe the President was born in the U.S.A.’?
I can only guess; and I would rather not speculate. Suffice to say, if the words coming out of his mouth over time evidence his heartfelt convictions and originate with him then, I would have expected more consistency.
As I have always said; I feel so sorry for Terry Lakin. At this same time, I believe he is getting exactly the outcome he deserves.
P.S. Of course, under the U.S. Code, that long form birth certificate released in April 2011 is just a political ad signaling the launch (in earnest) of the President’s campaign for re-election in 2012.