Should a Physician Charged with Medical Malpractice Lose Their License?
Yes, sometimes physicians charged with medical malpractice should lose their licenses. However, the answer to that question is complicated, because you have to assess each situation individually.
In recent news, The Florida Board of Medicine also found the answer challenging.
Peter V. Choy, 70, was recently found guilty of making fraudulent representations, failing to keep proper medical records, committing medical malpractice and concealing material facts in the 2010 case of a woman with a pancreatic tumor that died under his watch.
Choy’s patient died two weeks after Choy finally informed her of the large, malignant mass that had been revealed to him in a CT scan some two years earlier. Choy never made a note of the tumor in his patient’s medical records, and he did not provide her with further evaluations or even a referral to a specialist. Choy admitted that later “he altered the medical records out of fear of a lawsuit at the end of my career.”
The Board of Medicine first voted 5-4 to revoke Choy’s license and fine him $4,000. However, after a five-minute recess, the board moved to reconsider, citing Choy’s 40 years of work and clean disciplinary record. Choy ended up keeping his license.
Yet Choy has been disciplined before.
In 1998, New York’s Board of Professional Medical Conduct charged Choy with unprofessional conduct for intentional deception (health insurer fraud) and ordered him to surrender his medical license. Choy even failed to report the incident in three other states where he held a medical license: Florida, Arizona and New Jersey, all of which led to reprimands and fines.
Speaking of the Board’s decision, the deceased patient’s son stated, “There’s no integrity. The system failed me.”
This sad incident represents a reality for some patients in Florida. Medical malpractice can cause patients a great amount of harm. This harm can range from emotion to physical, and sadly, medical malpractice has cost some patients the ultimate price, their lives.
If you have a question about medical malpractice or think that you might have a claim that you would like to discuss, then do not hesitate to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney to help you understand your options and how the law is on your side.
Did You Know? In 2012, more than $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts, which averaged out to one payout every 43 minutes.