While often deemed otherwise, doctors are normal human beings and therefore not infallible. When a doctor makes a mistake, the stakes are often high and may result in a patient suffering harm, injury and even death. When medical mistakes occur, it is the responsibility of hospital administrators to take steps to thoroughly investigate the matter and, if necessary, suspend a doctor’s practicing privileges. When serious concerns exist, hospitals have a legal and moral duty to report doctors believed to pose a risk to patients to the state medical board.
News from another state relaying the serious and unconscionable actions of one spinal surgeon recently surfaced. The serious allegations against the doctor will likely lead to multiple criminal charges as well as medical malpractice lawsuits. It’s also likely that the actions or inactions of the hospitals at which he was employed will also be closely examined.
Described by one of his former patients as “an egomaniac, mentally ill, and alcoholic, drug addict or a combination thereof,” the now 42-year-old former doctor is no longer licensed to practice medicine. However, prior to the eventual revocation of his medical license, the doctor was repeatedly allowed to put the lives of multiple patients at risk. During the course of roughly three years, he was directly responsible for contributing to the severe injury or death of at least six patients.
The list of accusations related to serious acts of medical malpractice against the former surgeon is long and come from the mouths of patients and their family members as well as several doctors who witnessed the horrific mistakes firsthand. One doctor who reported the surgeon to the state medical board referred to him as “a serial killer”.
Information related to the former surgeon’s actions are disturbing. Perhaps even more disturbing is the fact that he was allowed to keep practicing and performing surgeries on patients who had no way to know about his questionable record. When questioned for a recent news story about the accusations against him, the former surgeon showed little remorse or regard for those impacted by his actions, insisting that “ninety-nine percent of everything that has been said about me is completely false.”
Source: Dallas News, “Plano’s Baylor hospital faces hard questions after claims against former neurosurgeon,” Doug J. Swanson, March 1, 2014