A former Texas neurosurgeon was sentenced to life in prison by a Dallas jury that deliberated his sentence for only one hour after he was found guilty on February 14, 2017 of intentionally causing serious bodily harm to an elderly patient on whom he performed spinal surgery in 2012 that left the patient in a wheelchair.
The permanently disabled patient testified during the former neurosurgeon’s criminal trial. After the life sentence was announced, the patient stated, “Finally justice has been done after four and a half years. And I hope I’m speaking for all the other families and their loved ones also … We feel like justice was done … You know, when they finally got his license suspended I cried for two days. It was just relief that didn’t stop.”
The prosecutors had argued to the jury that the 45-year-old neurosurgeon was malicious and reckless when he performed surgery. Several of his former patients reportedly testified during trial that the neurosurgeon had maimed them on purpose.
A prosecutor from the DA’s Office stated, “Really who he is was someone who called himself a cold blooded killer. Someone who calls himself a god at times. Who believed he was a god at times.”
The former neurosurgeon’s criminal defense attorneys argued during the criminal trial that their client’s actions were not criminal – he was just a lousy surgeon.
The former neurosurgeon was alleged to have botched the spinal surgeries of thirty two of his patents, including two who were killed and two who were paralyzed after surgery.
Prosecutors had alleged that between July 2012 and June 2013, the former neurosurgeon had maimed four patients and had caused the death of at least two of his patients.
The former neurosurgeon had opened his neurosurgical practice in Dallas, Texas in late 2010. It was not until June 2013 that the Texas Medical Board revoked his medical license, despite repeated complaints to the Texas Medical Board from hospitals where he worked, from physicians who had observed the harm he was doing to his patients, and from Texas medical malpractice lawyers hired by patients who had suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of their surgeries performed by the neurosurgeon.
An article entitled “Anatomy of a Tragedy” that appeared in The Texas Observer on August 28, 2013 described in great detail the extensive harms caused by the neurosurgeon to many of his patients over the course of his medical career in Texas, as well as the ineffective and lackluster efforts of regulators to curb the injuries and deaths he continued to cause his patients. The author of the article wrote, “we see the weakness of Texas’ unregulated system of health care, a system built to protect doctors and hospitals. And a system in which there’s no way to know for sure if your doctor is dangerous,” citing the draconian medical malpractice tort reforms enacted in Texas beginning in 2003 that “has committed the state to a policy of medical deregulation—a free-market system in which doctors can practice as they please with limited government interference. Only their consciences, and those of their fellow doctors, limit them.”
Ironically, the Texas Board of Medicine states on its website, “The Texas Medical Board is the state agency charged with keeping Texas patients safe through the licensure and regulation of Texas physicians.”
If you or a family member suffered serious harm (or worse) as a result of intentional or negligent medical malpractice in Texas or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Texas medical malpractice attorney or a medical malpractice attorney in your U.S. state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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