Last year California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law California SB 1172, which makes it illegal to provide “conversion” or “reparative” therapy to homosexuals under the age of 18 in the state. The issue is whether this an unremarkable and rational exercise of the police power of the state or an infringement of First Amendment rights. Supporters of the bill assert that the “antigay” therapy is worthless pseudoscience and has the potential of harming young homosexuals who are struggling with identity and self worth issues. They claim that homosexuality is not a disease or an assumed condition, but an intrinsic or genetic positioning on a natural scale of human sexuality.
In 1950, the United States Supreme Court in Feres v. The United States, 340 U.S. 135 (1950) held that a soldier could not bring a claim against the United States for injuries incurred while he was in military service. In the recent case of Drabick, M.. v. Kathleen Sebelius et al.,1:10 CV 1841 a U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania held that a former military medical doctor and Colonel, Ret. in the Hematology-Oncology department of Walter Reed Army Medical Center could not bring a Section 1983 Civil Rights Claim against the government resulting from an allegedly inappropriate report of a medical malpractice claim to the National Practitioner Data Bank under the Healthcare Quality Improvement Act of 1986 under the Feres Doctrine.
“Yo-yo litigation” bouncing back and forth between trial courts and appellate courts is wearing and expensive. Dr. Richard Chudacoff, M.D. should be able to attest to that. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, Nevada in 2008, he was a renowned minimally invasive gynecological surgeon at Baylor University in Texas. In May of 2008, the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, where he was an assistant professor, abruptly suspended his clinical privileges without notice or hearing. The action was described as a “routine administrative action” and not a 30 day emergency action based on immanent harm to patients. His university employment terminated because of the loss of his privileges. The university hospital forwarded a report of the suspension to the National Practitioner Data Bank in Washington asserting that the suspension resulted from “substandard or inadequate care.” Subsequently the “fair hearing” panel hearing his case disagreed with the grounds for the suspension and sent a recommendation to the Medical Executive Committee that his suspension be lifted and it was, in October, 2008.
An Albuquerque Obstetrician/Gynecologist, filed a pro-se lawsuit in Federal District Court in New Mexico claiming that a hospital which permanently suspended his privileges deprived him of his civil rights overcame the hospital’s defense of immunity under the Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986 (“HCQIA”). In Chinonyerem Osuagwu v. Gila Regional Medical Center, (No. 1:11 -cv-1 3/27/12), Dr. Osuagwu presented evidence that Gila Regional failed to follow its own bylaws and failed to provide him due process in permanently suspending his privileges without meeting the requirements of HCQIA for immunity. One of the defendants, Dr. Romillard, a non -practicing gynecologist advised the hospital’s peer review committee as to why Dr. O’s privileges should be suspended.
The Utah Supreme Court last month held that a prescriber of drugs has a duty to third parties injured by the conduct of the patient following the consumption of the medication. In the case of B.R., a Minor Child and C.R., a Minor Child, through their Conservator, William M. Jeffs v. Trina West, Hugo Rodier and John Does I-X, (Utah, 2012), the Court overturned a lower court dismissal of a case for lack of duty. The Plaintiffs are the two surviving children of David Ragsdale, who killed their mother after taking the medication prescribed by Ms. West, a nurse practitioner. The drugs prescribed were Concerta, Valium, Doxepin, Paxil, pregnenelone and testosterone.
Dr. Vincent L. Guinn, an African American Cardiologist, brought a sham peer review suit against Mount Carmel Health and a number of physicians in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Ohio. He alleged two principal federal claims: antitrust conspiracy and monopolization and a violation of his civil rights. Mt. Carmel summarily suspended Dr. Guinn’s privileges after a colleague alleged that he had placed an intracardial device in a patient “pocket” that had broken down and was infected. The defendants sought to have the two claims dismissed for lack of standing under a number of different theories. The Court in Guinn v. Mount Carmel Health, et al., S.D. Ohio, No. 2:09-cv-226, 2/27/12, dismissed the antitrust case on the pleadings, but chose to allow Dr. Guinn to move forward with his discrimination case.
[This is a guest post by Joanne Berry of Pannone LLP's Serious Injury Team in the UK.]
The following article provides an overview of the US and UK legal systems regarding head and brain injuries compensation, when said injuries are sustained through accidents. To make the comparison easier, the focus of this comparison will be on head injuries or brain injuries that were caused due to a road traffic accident. The aim is to provide an interesting comparison to encourage debate and discussion of the pros and cons of both systems.
In 2009 Susan Friery, M.D./J.D. appeared in a Boston Magazine Article as one of the beautiful Massachusetts lawyers of 2009. Her picture in a yoga stance with her dog was a prominent feature of the article. She was in fact beautiful, but not in fact a Medical Doctor. The dog so far as we are aware is apparently a real dog, although has been difficult to confirm. She served as an associate and partner in the law firm of Kreindler & Kreindler, although she has since left the firm. She is described in the article as having participated in mass disaster litigation including the Pan Am Lockerbie litigation and medical malpractice cases. The article can be accessed at the following.