This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Psychotic Surgeon

"I am ready to leave the love and kindness and goodness and patience that I mix with everything else that I am and become a cold-blooded killer."
Christopher Duntsch, neurosurgeon, Texas
Texas Neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch Charged with Assault for Botched Surgeries
Dallas County Sheriff's Department/AP
"I couldn't believe a trained surgeon could do this. He just had no recognition of the proper anatomy. He had no idea what he was doing."
"At every step of the way, you would have to know the right thing to do so you could do the wrong thing, because he did all the wrong things."
Dr. Robert Henderson, surgeon, Dallas Medical Center

"The TMB [Texas Medical Board] must stop this sociopath Duntsch immediately or he will continue to maim and kill innocent patients."
"Dr. Duntsch is a clear and present danger to the citizens of Texas."
Dr. Randall Kirby, Baylor Regional Medical Center, Plano, Texas

Baylor Hospital in Texas is facing three lawsuits from former patients whom neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch operated on. Expectations are that before long additional lawsuits will surface. But Baylor is certainly not the only hospital where this man had surgical privileges. They too now face the spotlight of scrutiny over the fact that despite evidence that this surgeon had become a menace to the patients he was operating on, nothing was done to remove his privileges.

Dr. Duntsch had been recognized as a promising young neurosurgeon. Until he became a "danger to patients", and was accused of deliberately botching surgeries. At a hearing relating to the amount of bail --- $600,000 -- ensuring he is not a flight risk before his trial, the sitting justice viewed evidence in the charges laid against the doctor; five counts of aggravated assault for his mishandling of spinal surgeries; along with one count of injuring an elderly person, according to the Dallas Morning News. The bail amount was sustained.

Two patients had failed to survive as a result of his deliberate incompetence during surgical procedures not normally considered to be dangerous. Other patients came out of the operating room after Dr. Duntsch had completed surgery, severely injured. The neurosurgeon's practise in Dallas dated from 2010 when Dr. Duntsch worked at several hospitals, and in the process earned a reputation for practising haphazard surgical techniques.

He was described by colleagues as the "worst surgeon I've ever seen", and as a "sociopath". Another surgeon at Dallas Medical Center where a number of operations were performed by Dr. Duntsch, declared with disbelief: "I couldn't believe a trained surgeon could do this". Authorities contend that Duntsch operated on his roommate who was also a friend, after a cocaine-filled night, leaving the man a quadriplegic.

On another occasion he deliberately 'forgot' a surgical sponge inside a patient's body. Another doctor forced Duntsch to halt the surgery because of his "unacceptable" technique. He left Baylor Regional Medical Center voluntarily after a women he had operated on bled to death. Yet, despite a fault-filled reputation Baylor made no effort to ensure that the surgeon wouldn't go on to continue operating elsewhere. Since Texas law limits the responsibility of hospitals for actions of their doctors, they seemed not to care.

It is only the Texas Medical Board which may by law remove a doctor's licence to practise, and then only once having received and thoroughly investigated a complaint. A year later, Dr. Duntsch's licence was suspended. Before that, however, another woman reportedly expired on the operating table. Two others experienced surgeries that left them unable to move their legs. After the loss of his Texas licence, he simply moved to Centennial, Colorado and resumed work there as a biomedical consultant.

Dr. Duntsch has declared himself to be the victim of surgeons who viewed him as a professional rival. Personal injury lawyers also have targeted him, he has stated in an interview with The Dallas Morning News: "99 percent of everything that has been said about me is completely false". News of his innocence of the charges laid against him has failed to impress authorities who, seasoned as they may be by the incidence of physician carelessness in some instances, have been utterly shocked at the charges levelled against this man.

Not included in news reports about this man's career and the lives he has impacted so deleteriously, is what might possibly have persuaded a man who pursued a medical career as a specialist and whose services are greatly sought after, to allow himself to become a danger to society, and the perpetrator of atrocious harm to innocent people requiring the skill of a surgeon to make them whole, in whom they place their trust.

Much less the uncaring attitude of hospital administrators, oblivious to their moral and ethical duty as health professionals.

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