Medical malpractice can take many forms ranging from a surgical error to reckless physician conduct. We have covered many irresponsible doctors on this blog, including doctors who escape medical malpractice claims by moving to other states and doctors who continue to operate on patients despite the high number of mysterious patient deaths that result from their practice of medicine.
Nurses and psychiatrists are also subject to malpractice lawsuits if their negligent actions cause a preventable injury to a patient. The Massachusetts medical board recently disciplined two psychiatrists for misbehavior that seriously endangered the wellbeing of their patients.
The board acted quickly to revoke the medical license of a 52-year-old psychiatrist who it allegedly committed various acts of professional misconduct and practiced medicine while impaired. The disciplinary documents include allegations of improper sexual relations with a patient and failing to call back other doctors in regards to a mutual patient who later died.
Allegations also indicate that the psychiatrist told a relative of the deceased patient that he was unable to talk on the phone because he was phobic.
This case illustrates that even prominent physicians can have serious lapses in judgment that can form the basis of a wrongful death or medical malpractice lawsuit. The psychiatrist was well known for his research into the impact of omega-3 fatty acids in treating various issues such as bipolar disorder and depression. His published works included “The Omega-3 Connection: The Ground- breaking Antidepression Diet and Brain Program.”
The other doctor disciplined by the medical board was criminally charged for writing narcotics prescriptions. He had to resign his license and pay $50,000 in civil penalties.
Source: The Boston Globe, “State medical board disciplines two psychiatrists,” Liz Kowalczyk, Aug. 25, 2011