Medical child abuse case may have political impact
By FOX 12 Staff
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A medical child abuse case could impact the campaign of a prominent candidate for U.S. Senate.
Katherine "Kate" Parker, of Grants Pass, is accused of lying to doctors so her children would get unnecessary medical procedures. She appeared in Multnomah County court in early April to face dozens of charges, including criminal mistreatment, assault and child abandonment.
Parker's alleged victims include three of her children, a son and two daughters. Court documents allege the criminal mistreatment began in 2007.
A grand jury witness, a former friend of Kate Parker's, confirms that Dr. Monica Wehby is one of the many doctors who treated Parker's son, who has a brain abnormality.
Tiffany Reed, who met Parker when her son was in the hospital with Parker's son in 2011, told Fox 12 Wehby performed multiple operations on Parker's son.
In April, Reed told Fox 12, "[Parker] always had to have the worst and the rarest things going on, the rarest conditions and her kids didn't respond to treatment."
Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon, is currently the front-runner in the race for the Republican nomination to run against Senator Jeff Merkely this fall.
Her campaign ads highlight her medical background.
According to a blog called "The Truth About KP, Mom of 7, 8, 9," Parker documented her son's medical struggles through the website CaringBridge. The site posted a copy of the CaringBridge entries they say Parker wrote.
Many of the entries mention Dr. Wehby or a "Dr. W." performing surgery on the boy on several of the dates listed in Parker's court records.
The Multnomah County prosecutor on the case would not confirm if investigators have talked to Wehby.
Parker is the only person facing criminal charges in the case.
Wehby's campaign manager referred Fox 12 to Legacy Emanuel for comment, citing medical privacy laws.
A spokesman for Legacy Emanuel said they could not comment due to medical privacy laws and the ongoing investigation.
Parker's trial is scheduled to begin May 19, but the prosecutor on the case expects that date to be pushed back.