I've marveled before at the bizarre and tragic genre of disciplinary updates from the state Department of Health—massage therapists with a poor sense of boundaries, old-fashioned drug diversion, the infamous nursing assistant who "took a heavily medicated patient shopping and coerced the patient into buying things for her."
Yesterday brought a doozy—a doctor whose license has been suspended because "sexting during surgery" is only "among [the] allegations" that got him in trouble.
The commission’s statement of charges says C compromised patient safety due to his preoccupation with sexual matters while he was on hospital duty...
According to the charges, C frequently exchanged sexually explicit texts during surgeries when he was the responsible anesthesiologist; improperly accessed medical-record imaging for sexual gratification; and had sexual encounters at his workplace.
Charges also state that C issued at least 29 unauthorized prescriptions for controlled substances and legend drugs outside of his medical practice and didn’t conduct proper evaluations, diagnoses, or treatment plans for these patients. Charges say he didn’t obtain their informed consent, provide anti-drug diversion safeguards for controlled substances, or keep medical records, and had sexual relations with one patient for whom he was prescribing drugs.
Yeesh. You know, I almost felt bad for the guy: Addiction is a painful affliction but it isn't a crime in and of itself; I'm confident every surgeon in human history has thought about the four basic human questions (Am I hungry? Am I horny? Am I too hot? Am I too cold?) as regularly as the rest of us; and would the doctor have gotten as busted if he'd been texting a question to a colleague or a reminder to pick up some lettuce at the store?
But then I got to this part:
During the investigation, it was found that C made disparaging and racist remarks against a patient and misrepresented his work schedule to an investigator.
Well. Being hooked on thrills is one thing. But there's never an excuse for being mean.