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Hacienda Healthcare doctor who cared for incapacitated woman who gave birth gives up medical license

Dr. Phillip Gear is retiring and forfeiting any right to appeal.

PHOENIX — One of the two primary care doctors who cared for an incapacitated woman at Hacienda Healthcare in Phoenix after she was allegedly raped by a nurse at the facility and later gave birth is giving up his medical license. 

Dr. Phillip Gear was ordered to immediately surrender his license to practice allopathic medicine in Arizona on Nov. 8, according to a court document. 

Gear elected to retire instead of fighting a suspension of his medical license, the report said. In a statement on Friday, Gear told 12 News that he has decided to retire "rather than to go through several rounds of legal proceedings, in view of my own age.

"I will miss the generations of families who have entrusted the medical treatment of their children to me and who have benefited from my care and professionalism," part of the statement continued. 

PREVIOUSLY: After incapacitated woman gives birth at Hacienda Healthcare, task force releases recommendation to protect vulnerable adults

According to the court document, Gear had cared for the woman from when she was first admitted to the facility in 1992 at the age of 3 until Sept. 18, 2018, when he transferred care to another doctor. 

Gear was responsible for performing annual exams and external exams every three to four months and as needed on the woman. 

But the Arizona Medical Board reviewed years of Gear's reports with the patient and found that they were “incomplete, inaccurate and at times unsigned.”

In court paperwork, the woman's family alleged that doctors and staff had missed 83 signs of pregnancy, including missed periods, weight gain and a hard mass in her abdomen. 

Gear had even treated the patient for a cyst on Sept. 13, 2018, just days before transferring care to Dr. Thanh Nguyen, who also missed the signs of pregnancy. 

Nguyen faced his own complaint with the Arizona Medical Board, but discipline was dismissed. 

RELATED: State medical board votes to dismiss complaint against Hacienda doctor allowing him to continue practicing

The woman would later go on to give birth in December. The staff at Hacienda were shocked. 

Nathan Sutherland, a former nurse who cared for the woman at the facility, is accused of raping and impregnating the woman. He was indicted by a grand jury on charges of sexual assault and vulnerable adult abuse in January. 

RELATED: Nathan Sutherland set to go on trial in February for allegedly raping, impregnating Hacienda Healthcare patient

His trial is set to begin on Feb. 25, 2020.  


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5 Hacienda-owned clinics for infants were unlicensed, officials say

 Medicaid terminates agreement with Hacienda Healthcare; more abuse cases uncovered

'Pray for me': Police report shows Hacienda rape suspect's behavior changed before victim gave birth

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