Official authorities took away the license of an 84-year-old doctor, on November 15, because she didn’t want to involve any kind of technology in her job. According to the physician based in New London, New Hampshire, that what she calls “electronic medicine” is not for “the patients,” but for “the system.”
While more doctors are starting to use computers in their jobs, and keeping their patient’s record electronically, Anna Konopka said she doesn’t have any significant device in her house, but barely a fax machine, a landline telephone, and a damaged typewriter. She is very comfortable in her tiny office, located near to her 160-year-old clapboard house in New London, N.H.
According to Konopka, who’s initially from Portland, she doesn’t know how to use a computer and doesn’t need one to do her job. She said she’s meticulous with her studies, writing, prescriptions, and keeping her patient’s records in cabinets – a method that seems to be working after not having received any complaint from anyone.
Konopka used to receive around 25 people per week suffering from any kind of things. Some of them didn’t have insurance, while others had complicated conditions – like chronic pain. However, her patients said she never charged them with more than $50 in cash.
In October 2014, New Hampshire Board of Medicine officials asked Konopka the records of her patients, prescribing practices, and medical decisions. The board accused her of letting a couple of parents decide how much medication their daughter should take, and failing to treat the girl with inhaled steroids per day.
According to the judge’s ruling, Konopka was then accused of misconduct, but she always denied it. She signed in September to voluntary surrender her license, which would finally expire on October 13. Thus, to “provide scheduled and emergency treatment” – according to the resignation.
After losing her license, the doctor asked the state to renovate it. But her choice of not to use computers, along with her misconduct, took a substantial part in the Merrimack County Superior Court Judge John Kissinger’s decision, on November 15.
The judge told Konopka that if she didn’t give her license away, he was going to proceed taking it away from her.
Konopka still thinks that the system is “destroying human relations between the doctor and the patient.”
“Her motivation to seek an injunction allowing her to continue to practice comes from a sincere desire to continue to help her patients,” Court Judge John Kissinger wrote. “Under these circumstances of this case, however, Dr. Konopka has failed to demonstrate that the extraordinary remedy of an injunction allowing her to continue to practice medicine is appropriate. To hold otherwise would be to ignore the process established by the Legislature to regulate the practice of medicine in this state.”
‘If you are not with system, the system considers you enemy of system’
The 84-year-old woman is not giving up after all of this. Konopka asked Kisinger again on November 22 to reconsider her case. Also, she filed 30 affidavits from her patients saying that they support the female doctor.
When the woman was asked about the ruling, she said that she couldn’t get “too upset” and that she is not “devasted.” According to her, some “people” are acting against her. She said that all of those individuals are just part of the “political system,” which is attacking her because she’s “coping with the system.”
She said that the system considers anyone who disagrees with it an “enemy.” Therefore, “as enemy of the system, you have to be destroyed.”
The woman said that the low fees she charged to her few patients didn’t let her afford a lawyer. When she signed the surrender, she was being represented by legal counsel. However, Barbara McKelvy, one of her patients, said that she’s going to find a pro-bono lawyer for her doctor.
“They practice electronic medicine, I practice medical art,” the doctor said. “I treat the patient. And I’m not going to compromise the patient’s health or life for the system.”
Konopka is different from any other doctor, her patients agree
All of Konopka’s patients said that they prefer the woman than any other doctor found in big hospitals because she gave them the individual attention they need.
As Konopka said, the actual doctors don’t rely on in their intellect but on the internet. All of them use computers and can easily find the knowledge on the web.
The 84-year-old doctor said that she doesn’t have any technological machine, so she has to find the information she needs to diagnose and prescribe medications just by using her brain.
One of the patients who wrote to the court, Jill Beaudry, told CNN that Konopka doesn’t care about the money. She takes care of her patients because that’s what she likes to do. According to Beaudry, Konopka is one of the best doctors that have attended her.
“My old doctors, they had their heads shoved into their computers. It was never personal with you. They never even looked at you,” Beaudry said. “With her, she’s 100% focused, and I hate when the doctors are using computers like that, because that’s not medicine.”
Konopka agreed to use a computer to perform minimal tasks if Kissinger gives her back her license. However, she won’t practice the “electronic medicine.”