According to USA Today, a Texas physician appeared before the Texas Medical Board on charges that he had negligently prescribed painkillers that resulted in a woman’s death.
The family doctor had already faced multiple charges for prescribing incorrect medications and for abusing drugs himself. Over a decade, board members had fined him thousands of dollars, restricted his prescription usage and placed his medical license on probation with special monitoring of his practice; however, they still let him keep practicing medicine.
In 2008, a woman in his care had died from a fatal mix of pain and psychiatric medications he had prescribed. Eleven months later, he prescribed painkillers that took another woman’s life. After two deaths and four more years of negotiations, the board finally barred the doctor from seeing patients, citing medication errors in those cases and multiple others.
“If the board had moved faster, my daughter would still be alive,” stated the second victim’s mother. “They knew this doctor had all these problems … (and) they did nothing to stop him.”
Mari Robinson, executive director of the Texas Medical Board, says this case took “longer than normal, but we followed what we needed to do.”
Even after years of criticism, state medical boards continue to allow thousands of physicians to keep practicing medicine after findings of serious misconduct that puts patients at risk. Some doctors have been barred by hospitals and have paid millions of dollars to resolve medical malpractice claims; yet their medical licenses remain intact.
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