LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A judge has delayed the malpractice trial
of a doctor accused of performing unnecessary hysterectomies,
concerned about what plaintiffs allege was an attempt by the
doctor's supporters to coerce the jury pool.
Dr. James Michael Guiler stirred national attention in 2003
after a woman accused him of branding in her uterus with the
letters "UK" - for his University of Kentucky alma mater - before
a routine hysterectomy.
The trial scheduled to begin Tuesday was to deal not with that
case but with allegations by several women that he had performed
Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine told The Associated Press
by phone Tuesday that she postponed the trial until June 23, 2008,
because of "pretrial publicity," including a letter circulated
around the medical community.
The letter, signed by 14 people, encouraged Guiler's supporters
to show up en masse outside the courthouse with "signs that best
represent Dr. Mike's Christian practice and demeanor."
It also promises travel maps and parking information and reminds
people they may attend the trial unless they are called as a
"This letter is not only defamatory of the plaintiffs and the
judicial system, it was sent with the intent to coerce the
jurors," the plaintiffs' attorneys wrote in a motion asking for a
Goodwine said she announced in court Friday she plans to seek
sanctions against the letter writers.
Among the plaintiffs in the unnecessary surgery case are the
couple who filed the complaint about the hysterectomy branding,
Stephanie and David Means.
Besides Guiler, the lawsuits name his employer, the Women's Care
Center of Lexington, and Central Baptist Hospital of Lexington.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)