Senator urged to drop medical practice

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 (UPI) — A U.S. senator known as “Dr. No” says he thinks he has the upper hand against Senate leadership trying to get him to give up his ongoing obstetrics practice.Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., is called Dr. No by some because of his practice of holding up seemingly non-controversial spending measures.

But it’s his practice as an obstetrician that has alarmed the Senate Ethics Committee, which has reportedly ordered him to stop delivering babies for a for-profit hospital in Muskogee, Okla., the Washington Web site Politico reported Tuesday.

The committee says Coburn’s practice presents a conflict of interest with his role a senator, but Coburn has refused to stop and says he’s got the moral high ground in the dispute.

“On my own time, I’m taking care of women who have a need, and I’m going to continue to deliver babies,” Coburn told Politico. “I’m not going to stop.”

Coburn says he’s donating his time, charging no fees for the births and paying malpractice insurance out of his own pocket, and his supporters contend that if ethics panel members ever sent a resolution to censure Coburn to the full Senate, it would be defeated.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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