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Missouri Supreme Court Will Hear Northland Doctor’s Case Over Revoked License

The building where Dr. Blake Donaldson practiced before his license was suspended.
Curious Eye Productions
The building where Dr. Blake Donaldson practiced before his license was suspended.

The Missouri Supreme Court will take up the question of whether Missouri’s law allowing the state’s medical disciplinary board to suspend licenses on an emergency basis is constitutional.

The Missouri Court of Appeals today said that a Northland physician’s challenge of his license revocation raised questions about the constitutionality of the law. The appeals court transferred the case to the state’s highest court, which has exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether a statute violates the state constitution.

At issue is whether Dr. Blake Henry Donaldson, who ran a clinic in Parkville, was denied due process when the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts suspended his license without a hearing and required that a final disciplinary hearing be conducted on an expedited basis.

The board suspended Donaldson’s license on an emergency basis in December 2017 after finding he had sex with a 16-year-old male patient. It said he continued to have sex with the patient after he turned 17, the age of consent in Missouri, but the board said the conduct was still unethical.

Donaldson denied the allegations and says he wasn’t given the opportunity to prove he was innocent of the charges.

In transferring the case to the Missouri Supreme Court, the Missouri Court of Appeals said Donaldson’s constitutional claims were “real and substantial.”

The Missouri statute in question, Section 334.102, allows the board to apply for an emergency suspension order under a variety of circumstances, including “engaging in sexual misconduct with a minor or person the licensee believes to be a minor.”

Donaldson says the statute violates due process because it didn’t allow him the opportunity to be heard in a meaningful time and manner. And, he argues, once his license was suspended, it denied him adequate time to investigate and counter the charges.

Donaldson’s attorneys did not respond to a request for comment.

The Board of Healing Arts has the power to discipline not just physicians; its jurisdiction extends to health care providers of all kinds, including therapists, athletic trainers, audiologists, physical therapists and physician assistants.

Donaldson, who ran the Primary Care North clinic at 5861 N.W. 72nd Street, obtained his medical degree from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. Before his suspension, he had been licensed in Missouri since 1995.

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Dan was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and moved to Kansas City with his family when he was eight years old. He majored in philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis and holds law and journalism degrees from Boston University. He has been an avid public radio listener for as long as he can remember – which these days isn’t very long… Dan has been a two-time finalist in The Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism, and has won multiple regional awards for his legal and health care coverage. Dan doesn't have any hobbies as such, but devours one to three books a week, assiduously works The New York Times Crossword puzzle Thursdays through Sundays and, for physical exercise, tries to get in a couple of rounds of racquetball per week.