Texas Neurosurgeon Sentenced to Life for Maiming Patients
Written by Editor   
Monday, March 06, 2017 02:19 PM
News bite:  A Texas neurosurgeon whose work was described as being “like letting an amateur loose in surgery” has been sentenced to life in prison for first degree injury to an elderly person.

A jury has sentenced a former neurosurgeon to life in prison for maiming patients who had turned to him for surgery to resolve debilitating injuries.

The decision came almost a week after the Dallas County jury convicted the 44-year-old of first-degree felony injury to an elderly person.

Prosecutors alleged numerous cases of malpractice against the former Plano physician, including that he improperly placed screws and plates along patients’ spines, left a sponge in another patient and cut a major vein in another.

Records show he operated on the wrong part of a patient’s spine and left one woman wheelchair-dependent. Two patients died.

A surgeon testifying for prosecutors said it was like letting an amateur loose in surgery.

A consistent thread ran through the sentencing testimony: The surgeon always came off as knowledgeable and confident — even cocky — but as soon as his skills were put to the test, he made catastrophic and often irreversible errors.

He performed back surgeries at various hospitals in Dallas and Collin counties until his arrest in July 2015. 

His trial focused only on a first-degree felony charge: injury to an elderly person–a 74 year old in 2012 in whom he damaged her spinal cord and amputated part of a nerve.  During surgery the patient lost a third of her blood.  She has also lost the use of her leg. Now in a wheelchair most of the time, the former schoolteacher experiences daily pain.

Jurors needed only about four hours to reach a guilty verdict.  The surgeon’s attorneys argued he wasn’t a criminal, just a lousy surgeon, a reflection on the regulatory agencies and boards licensing and regulating such surgeons.

Source: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/courts/2017/02/15/cockiness-ended-chaos-surgeons-knife-dallas-patients-testify