The death of a patient who was also reportedly a close friend and employee of the accused doctor has left “a Northeast Portland physician (facing) administrative charges” and the possible loss of her medical license, according to a recent article published by The Oregonian.
The newspaper reports that the doctor has been charged with “gross or repeated negligence” connected to a December 2010 procedure in which her misadministration of a local anesthetic caused the patient to suffer a seizure and lose consciousness. The patient died four days later. The doctor, who now stands accused of Oregon medical malpractice, told the investigating board that “the surgery was to remove a lesion, (but) she told her patient’s son it was an attempted ‘tummy tuck’ to remove unwanted fat.”
The report by the medical board cited a number of significant issues, including inadequate evaluation by the doctor prior to surgery, the presence of insufficient back-up resources in case something went wrong and failure “to recognize symptoms of the drug overdose” once they became apparent.
Stories like this remind us of the important role that medical boards, courts and Portland medical malpractice attorneys play at the confluence of our medical and legal systems, acting to help families ensure that justice is served in the wake of preventable tragedy. No one wants to believe that tragedy will strike them – particularly when seeing a trusted physician for what ought to be a relatively routine procedure. But when doctors act negligently, accountability is essential.