Judge Blocks Attempt by New London Doctor to Reopen Practice

Nov 27, 2017

Dr. Anna Konopka at office in New London.
Credit Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

A judge in Merrimack County Superior Court has dismissed a case brought by a New London doctor who said she was forced to close her practice under pressure from the state.

Dr. Anna Konopka agreed to surrender her license this fall to settle allegations from the New Hampshire Board of Medicine. The details of those allegations are sealed, but Konopka admits she failed to use an online database required for doctors prescribing opioids. In her mid-80s, Konopka does not use a computer.

She requested an injunction from the court in October, seeking ultimately to reopen her practice. At a hearing earlier this month, she argued she agreed to the medical board’s terms under duress, and that her patients are now suffering as they struggle to find new doctors. Many of her patients are low-income, live in rural areas and struggle with chronic pain. Several traveled to Concord for the hearing.

“The Court has admiration for Dr. Konopka’s devotion to her patients,” the judge wrote in his order to dismiss the case. “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.”

Konopka has motioned for the judge to reconsider, and has filed affidavits from about 30 patients speaking to her care, she said.