Oklahoma Court of Appeals Upholds Decision to Pull Doctor’s Medical Privileges

by Staff

Last week, the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals reached a consensus to uphold a Tulsa hospital’s decision to suspend a doctor’s medical privileges following two botched surgeries.

The Muskogee Phoenix reports that in June 2003, the doctor performed surgeries on two separate patients with advanced-stage lung cancer at St. John’s Medical Center in an attempt to remove tumor growths. One of the patients died a few days following the surgery, and the other was left permanently disfigured.

The hospital launched an investigation and concluded “there was an inadequate workup” before the procedures. St. John’s subsequently pulled the doctor’s medical privileges. In response, the doctor filed a lawsuit against the hospital and demanded a hearing.

Attorneys for the doctor argued that a 30 year career with no claims of Oklahoma medical malpractice should outweigh the negative outcomes of the two surgeries in question. However, U.S. District Judge Thomas R. Brett agreed with the hospital’s decision and dismissed the suit.

This past Friday, the Court of Appeals upheld Judge Brett’s decision, adding, “Failure to employ extensive workup and staging reflected a gross deviation in medical judgment.”

The Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys with J. Colbert Injury Lawyers believe that doctors have a responsibility to protect a patient’s well-being at all times and would encourage anyone who has suffered an injury during the course of medical treatment to discuss their case with a qualified attorney.