Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Keep her license

Keep her license, do not return it.

Isn't the physician's oath "first and foremost do no harm"?

If not it should be.

For crying out loud won't folks look at her record?

Doctor's prescribing linked to patient deaths
By Chris Cobb: The Herald-Zeitung

A New Braunfels doctor provided prescription drugs that might have contributed to the deaths of two of her patients, according to an order released Monday by the Texas Medical Board.A panel voted to indefinitely suspend Dr. Dora Crandall’s license to practice medicine late Thursday.

The physician is under state and federal investigation for Medicaid and prescription fraud. The detailed order listed 13 of Crandall’s patients who had received below adequate care, the panel said. It concluded that her continuing to practice medicine would be a “threat to public welfare.”

Two of the patients received prescriptions from Crandall for painkillers and other drugs that might have contributed to their overdose and subsequent deaths, the documents alleged.

Crandall’s lawyer, John Rivas, denied that the 68-year-old doctor did anything that may have led to the death of her patients.“The evidence did not establish a direct link between Dr. Crandall and anyone’s death,” Rivas said. He said the allegations against Crandall are centered around a failure to provide necessary paperwork and had nothing to do with providing sub-standard health care.“

This case is really about documentation,” Rivas said. “It’s not about quality of care. It’s not about over-prescribing narcotics.” The order lists a 53-year-old woman who died in 2006 from an overdose of Soma, Valium and Hydrocodone. All three drugs were previously prescribed to her by Crandall. The patient was hospitalized for two separate overdoses prior to her death, and the order states that Crandall was aware of her past overdose history and continued to prescribe narcotics. It also states that there was “no medical decision making to justify these prescriptions.”

Another patient, a 20-year-old male, died of an overdose of numerous substances in 2007, among them Hydrocodone. He had been prescribed 60 7.5-milligram Hydrocodone pills and refilled the prescription a month later. The order stated that by prescribing such a high dose with no adequate physical exam, review of his records or a plan, she had allowed him easy access to narcotics.

The medical board ruled the other 11 patients listed in the order — including one who later committed suicide — didn’t receive adequate care and many were prescribed drugs with little or no justification.Crandall’s clinic was raided in October 2007 by officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the state attorney general’s office and the New Braunfels Police Department.

She has not been charged with a crime. Without a medical license, Crandall cannot practice in Texas. Rivas said his client will applying to the board to have the suspension lifted.“I expect that she’ll get her license back,” Rivas said.

Jill Wiggins, a spokesperson for the medical board, said the board could apply to the state office of administrative hearings to ask for Crandall’s license to be formally revoked.