A Hospital in Connecticut is being sued because they allowed a doctor who had a history of drug problems, perform surgery in the hosptial for 10 years after the Hospital knew of his condition. Teh doctor had died in January of a Heroin overdose, and had been addicted to drugs for many years before then. In fact, the doctor was forced to resign after one egregious incident:
[The surgeon] resigned in 2007, following an allegation of substance abuse when a Greenwich Hospital surgical technician said she saw him take a syringe containing a powerful pain killer from an adjacent operating room and inject himself with it. Rubins admitted to the rash action, saying he had long-standing back pain.
This case is very similar to a case we recently resolved. In our case, a doctor who had suffered a stroke continued to perform orthopedic surgery at a hospital, including hip replacement surgery on our client. Because the stroke had caused the doctor to lose control and strength in his left arm, and because the prescription drugs he was on caused him to lose focus and become sleepy, amongst other things, the routine surgery led to an above the knee amputation for our client. Shockingly, the hospital had allowed the doctor to perform beyond what the State of Florida had restricted him to. Our law firm worked very hard on the case and during the lawsuit, we were able to learn that the defendant surgeon had sued his own doctors for causing his stroke. In his case, his family, friends, and treating physicians, all testified that he had sustained permanent injury that was irreversible. Yet, a few years later he was back performing complicated orthopedic surgeries!
These cases are far too common, hopefully by raising awareness hospitals will scrutinize their own doctors a bit more and avoid these instances where harm is actually done to the patients.