Physician neglect is one of the leading causes of patient injury in Eugene. In many circumstances, this kind of negligence can lead to malpractice and wrongful death claims. It can also result in a doctor temporarily or permanently losing his or her license to practice medicine.
In a case that has surprised many former patients and family members, the state of Colorado has allowed a doctor with a significant history of malpractice claims and medical mistakes to keep his license. The medical board has placed him on probation, but his is still allowed to practice medicine. According to state and court records, the doctor has had several patients who unnecessarily died or were injured while under his care. Since 2002, the doctor has been on probation for neglect and the mismanagement of patient medical care.
One of the doctor's former patients was a vibrant 80-year-old woman. She fell on a month-long expedition in the Antarctic, fracturing her pelvis and back. Under the care of the doctor, she went from recovering to deathly ill. It was later discovered that she suffered from an intestinal infection that is rarely fatal if detected early. Her condition quickly declined and she passed away as a result of the infection.
The patient's family has since filed a lawsuit against the doctor, alleging that his failure to treat the infection caused her death. After filing the complaint, the health department looked into the matter. They found substandard care at the facility where the patient was being treated. The department also found a failure to control the infection, and a failure to assess and monitor her condition. While no amount of compensation can remedy the doctor's fatal mistake, the family's lawsuit will help to ensure the doctor is held responsible for his actions.
Source: The Denver Channel, "State allows doctor on medical board probation with series of malpractice claims to keep license," John Ferrugia & Arthur Kane, May 13, 2013