Encinitas Doctor's License Suspended Again Indefinitely

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Medical Board of California has again suspended the license of a well-known Encinitas OB-GYN, this time indefinitely, after a North County couple blamed him for the death of their unborn child.

    We first told you about Robert Biter, M.D. five months ago when he was planning to start his own birthing center. Now he won't be practicing medicine anytime soon.

    Encinitas Doctor License Suspended Indefinitely

    [DGO] Encinitas Doctor License Suspended Indefinitely
    The Medical Board of California has suspended the license of a well-known Encinitas OB-GYN indefinitely after one couple blamed him for the death of their stillborn child. (Published Friday, Jan 4, 2013)

    In September Michael and Amber Lukacs told NBC 7 San Diego the heart-wrenching story about their son Ace, who the couple originally planned to have delivered at Scripps Hospital in Encinitas.

    But Amber said they were persuaded by their Robert Biter, M.D., at the time a Board Certified obstetrician and gynecologist, to have the baby at home under the care of his birthing team.

    Medical Board Suspends Robert Biter's License

    [DGO] Medical Board Suspends Robert Biter's License
    The Medical Board of California has suspended the license of a well-known Encinitas OB-GYN indefinitely after one couple blamed him for the death of their stillborn child. NBC 7's Tony Shin reports. (Published Friday, Jan 4, 2013)

    "He's going to have a couple of midwives and him, and we'd have all the things that you would have at a hospital except it would be in the comfort of your own home," Amber Lukacs said in a previous interview with NBC 7 San Diego.

    During a grueling 22 hour labor, Amber suffered serious complications. Her husband made the decision to call 911 as Biter and his team tried to figure out what was wrong.

    Still-Born Tragedy: Couple Hopes Baby s Death Leads to Awareness

    [DGO] Still-Born Tragedy: Couple Hopes Baby s Death Leads to Awareness
    North County couple Amber and Michael Lukacs lost their baby during a home birth supervised by Dr. Robert Biter. The couple had no idea Biter had recently accepted serious discipline from the Medical Board of California. (Published Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012)

    “They put me on oxygen and rolled me over to see if they could get the baby's heartbeat back,” Amber Lukacs recalled. “And it was just gone."

    Their baby boy was pronounced dead, at the hospital.

    Disciplined Doctors

    [DGO] Disciplined Doctors
    Our investigation revealed that there are more than 50 San Diego county doctors accused of unprofessional conduct, criminal acts, or negligence, by the medical board, in the past 15 months. NBC 7's Christine Haas speaks with Ted Mazer, M.D. with the San Diego County Medical Society, Julie D'Angelo Fellmeth with USD Center for Public Interest Law and James Hay, M.D. with the California Medical Association. (Published Thursday, May 10, 2012)

    At the time, Michael and Amber didn't know Biter had recently been disciplined by the medical board for negligence in a previous case in which, Biter agreed to a two month suspension and seven years of probation.

    That suspension was served from Sept. 8 to Nov. 8, 2012. Once it expired, the medical board filed a separate accusation against Biter accusing the doctor of gross negligence, repeated negligent acts, failure to maintain adequate and accurate records and incompetence in his treatment of the Lukacs.

    According to the medical board, Biter failed to ensure Amber Lukacs was an appropriate candidate for home birth. He also failed to correctly determine the patient’s expected date of confinement (EDC) and changed the EDC once that date had arrived.

    Now, the medical board has suspended Biter's license indefinitely because of this new accusation.

    According to an administrative court document exclusively obtained by NBC 7, Biter agreed to the immediate suspension.

    Ted Mazer, M.D. is the vice speaker of the California Medical Association.

    He says most doctors would fight tooth and nail to keep their license as long as possible meaning the evidence may be significant.

    "I don't know the details and I don't want to cast any doubt on this particular case, but this doctor has agreed to let the medical board take action now pending a hearing,” Mazer said. “That has to say something to what he's being advised by his legal counsel."

    NBC 7 San Diego could not reach Biter for comment before this report aired Thursday night. At this point it's unclear exactly when the medical board will hold a hearing about his future.

    A previous statement from Biter’s attorney given to NBC 7 San Diego in May 2012 described him as a 2007 Scripps Physician Leadership Award recipient, one of San Diego’s 40 under 40 in San Diego Metropolitan Magazine, and the OB/GYN named the best by the readers of Ranch and Coast Magazine for four consecutive years.

    In an exclusive interview with NBC 7 San Diego, attorney Robert Vaage, who represents the Michael and Amber Lukacs said, “I can tell you on behalf of the Lukacs' that they're grateful that the Medical Board has moved on this because their primary concern all along has been to try and do everything they can to make sure that what they went through doesn't happen to anybody else.”

    See all documents here.