Psychopaths and Incompetents. This is what real Physician Misconduct looks like
In a prior blog I had described the case of George Tyndall, MD the USC gynecologist and the billion dollar settlement with USC. Tyndall is joined by Heaps and Hadden as older white male gynecologists engaged in weird pervy actions with female patients. Doctors live these should be fired, but at least as important and generally overlooked/ ignored, the senior administrators, chairmen, deans who were aware and allowed this conduct to continue also have to be dismissed, sued, and some need to go to prison. Billion dollar settlements against the institutions for these level of misconducts. I don't agree with. The students, faculty and facilities all suffer with these type of settlements. If there is no serious physical harm or death, just weird touching, the injuries to me are not more severe than what most of us go through our lives and have to deal with. These doctors may in fact have been good at what they were doing, and good health care delivery, just weird and perverted.
In contrast, the misconducts that are major issues that major action has to be taken against, billion dollar babies, are where serious misconduct has gone on, and people have sustained serious injuries or death. I also distinguish those in which administrators would not have been aware of, and those in which they were aware and did nothing.
Two recent examples have come to light which are worth discussing.
Psychopaths. These are the most dramatic, most shocking, and intriguing to the public. But they are rare. These are the Doctor Deaths whose intention is to deliberately injure and kill patients and others. The most recent in the news is Raynaldo Ortiz, MD an anesthesiologist in Texas. who deliberately injected high dose of dangerous drugs into iv bags: bupivicaine, epinephrine, lidocaine. A physician colleague of his died because she used one of his iv bags to hydrate herself. These type of physicians are homicidal maniacs and should experience appropriate legal punishment for serial murders and injuries. I believe in the death penalty... Too many people in the world anyways. It is not clear that administrators were aware of his behavior. Other victims who were injured but not killed should receive appropriate compensation.
Incompetence can arise from: 1. simply a poor doctor, 2. doctors who sustained injuries including physical and neurological, and 3. doctors with avoidable incapacity, generally drugs and alcohol.
Richard Heeken, MD a surgeon in FL who developed a neurological condition with aging considered progressive supranuclear palsy. I some of these neurological diseases, like the various dementias, the doctor may be incapable of recognizing their disability. This is where administration is critical. Apparently there were numerous complaints by faculty and staff, but nothing was done to stop him . In these cases severe discipline, firing, legal suits, and prison time for administrators. This serves to put on notice administrators at other medical centers who will try to cover up wrongdoing. Hundreds of patients sustained serious injuries. This is real misconduct. The doctor may have been too neurologically impaired to understand what he was doing was wrong, this can be determined. But the administrators would have known. This is a billion dollar case. Both of these cases vastly worse than the three perverteers above. It is critical to be able to stratify risks and injuries.
Richard Semelka, MD