Is Your Doctor Stoned?
Before you say no to this question, you might want to check out a recent government report that found that at least 100,000 or 1 in 10 doctors currently working are found to perform medical procedures while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Some of the most egregious findings include doctors performing surgeries while under the influence, injuring or even killing their patients in the process.
Doctor Opens Up About Struggles With Prescription Painkiller Addiction
Some doctors are opening up about their struggles, such as Dr. Lloyd who says that he was taking over 100 Vicodin pills each day while still seeing patients. Lloyd was an internist, working in a hospital emergency room, and says that it was extremely easy for him to score prescription painkillers because “all of his friends were doctors”. While Lloyd has never been accused of injuring a patient while under the influence, other doctors have. Dr. Christopher Duntsch, who once touted himself as “the best surgeon in Dallas” is accused of removing part of a former patient’s spine, leaving the man partially paralyzed. A dozen other patients say they were also injured by Dr. Duntsch, some left as quadriplegic or paraplegic, and others dying after undergoing surgery at the hands of Dr. Duntsch. Dr. Lloyd has been clean for 10 years from his addiction, but Dr. Duntsch denies any wrongdoing. His license was recently revoked for violating the standard of care, but is not convicted of any criminal activity.
Doctors Owe it to Their Patients to Be Honest About Struggles
While there is not federal law on the problem of doctors and their addiction to drugs, California recently proposed a law that would require random drug testing of any doctor with hospital privileges. Regardless of what laws may be in place to force doctors to come clean, Dr. Lloyd says that doctors owe it to their patients to admit their struggle with drugs or alcohol. This is vitally important considering that patients safety and lives are dependent on their doctors’ abilities to conduct medical procedures and surgeries with a sober mind and body.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.