Doctor of incapacitated woman who gave birth cedes license

PHOENIX (AP) — The longtime doctor of an incapacitated woman who was raped and later gave birth at a Phoenix care facility is surrendering his medical license, according to state medical board records.

Dr. Phillip Gear agreed to a consent order to voluntarily give up his license and not contest the matter in court.

“I decided to retire rather than to go through several rounds of legal proceedings, in view of my own age,” Gear, 67, said in a statement to The Arizona Republic.

Gear asserted, however, that he always offered high-quality care and professionalism to all his patients.

The order, filed Nov. 8, summarized the results of the board’s investigation following the woman giving birth on Dec. 29, 2018, at Hacienda HealthCare. Gear was the victim’s physician on and off from 1992, when she was 3 years old, until a few months before the birth.

He last cared for her in September 2018 when she had a cyst. He then transferred her care to another doctor.

That doctor, Thanh Nguyen, had a complaint narrowly dismissed by the board in October. In a notice of claim against the state, the victim’s attorney alleged Nguyen had missed several signs she was pregnant.

Nguyen told the board there were no obvious indicators.

According to the board, Gear failed to perform required monthly exams on her. He also never did an annual mental health assessment. A review determined he kept incomplete and inadequate medical records for her.

The investigation also found Gear was physically unable to do exams without the help of another doctor or nurse practitioner. He also failed to supervise four students training with him. The students reported that Gear never entered patient rooms with them.

Authorities say Nathan Sutherland, a male nurse, sexually assaulted the woman and DNA confirms he is the father of her baby. Sutherland has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual abuse and vulnerable adult abuse. He also surrendered his nursing license after his arrest.

His trial is scheduled to for February.