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Alcohol-Impaired doctor loses license

On Behalf of | May 11, 2018 | Medical Malpractice

When one thinks of medical negligence in Redwood City, alcohol intoxication is not a factor that immediately comes to mind. One of the most trusted groups of individuals in the country is doctors. You should be able to trust your health care providers without question. However, they are human, and many of them make mistakes that endanger the very lives they took a Hippocratic oath to protect. According to Yahoo Sports, physicians “should not practice and see patients if their ability to do so safely is impaired by the use of a controlled substance, alcohol, chemical agent or a health condition.” 

Recently, a psychiatrist who advertised he treats alcohol and drug addictions admitted to the Medical Board that he had a substance abuse problem. He also confessed to being drunk two hours before his first patients came to his downtown San Diego office. The doctor had cloves and two full glasses of vodka after his mother recommended the alleged remedy to get him to stop drinking. The judge presiding over the hearing was not convinced that the doctor’s testimony was “persuasive evidence of rehabilitation.” 

The physician had been under investigation since Feb. 17, 2017, for numerous patient complaints of intoxication and improper behavior. One complainant alleged that she received a vodka bottle along with the sample medications the doctor sent to her. The bottle was empty. Investigation reports contained several investigators. One investigator believed the doctor was impaired by his odd behavior and symptoms of intoxication he was exhibiting. 

At some point before the hearing, the physician provided chemical evidence that revealed his blood alcohol content was almost three times the legal limit of 0.08. His BAC was 0.216. 

Source: NBC LA, Paul Krueger, “Judge Suspends License of Doctor Who Drank a Pint of Vodka Before Treating Patients,” May 10, 2018