It has been reported that a former Maryland physician, who lost his Maryland medical license last year after it was discovered that he had previously been convicted of rape in Florida, has settled a Maryland medical malpractice case (Maryland wrongful death case) filed against him by the family of a former patient who died of drug intoxication in 2010, allegedly from the pain medications that her former physician had prescribed for her.
The Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit had been filed in 2013 and alleged that the defendant doctor had prescribed pain medications that included Percocet and Oxycodone during a seven-year period despite the patient’s hospitalization for drug overdose and despite her concern, and the concern of her husband, expressed to the defendant doctor that she was addicted to the painkillers that he had prescribed.
The defendant doctor’s physician assistant was also named as a defendant in the Maryland medical malpractice/Maryland wrongful death lawsuit, and was a party to the settlement. The terms of the settlement are confidential.
The former Maryland physician’s past history came back to haunt him when he was charged in April 2014 with sexual assault for allegedly assaulting a female patient at an urgent care facility in Maryland. The criminal charges arising out of that incident were dropped by prosecutors in September 2014, when the physician agreed to voluntarily relinquish his Maryland medical license. The Maryland State Board of Physicians then became aware of the physician’s 1987 conviction for rape in Florida that allegedly had not been fully disclosed when the physician had applied for his Maryland medical license.
An investigation into the Maryland State Board of Physicians’ failure to uncover the prior criminal conviction in Florida led to new legislation signed into law on April 14, 2015 by Maryland’s Governor, which will become effective on July 1, 2015, that requires that physicians (and others) applying for medical licensing in Maryland undergo criminal background checks.
Maryland’s new law requires specified criminal history records checks for physicians, physician assistants, respiratory care practitioners, radiation oncology/therapy, medical radiation, and nuclear medicine technologists, polysomnographic technologists, athletic trainers, perfusionists, and naturopathic practitioners. It also requires specified criminal history records checks for specified annual renewal applicants and former licensees who file for reinstatement under specified circumstances, beginning October 1, 2016.
When the new law becomes effective on July 1, 2015, upon receipt of criminal history records information, the Maryland State Board of Physicians must consider the following factors in determining whether to grant, renew, or reinstate a license:
– the age at which the crime was committed;
– the nature of the crime;
– the circumstances surrounding the crime;
– the length of time that has passed since the crime;
– subsequent work history;
– employment and character references; and,
– other evidence that demonstrates whether the applicant poses a threat to public health or safety.
An applicant who is required to have a criminal history records check (CHRC) must apply to the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) for both a State and national CHRC. An applicant must submit two sets of fingerprints taken on the required forms, the State criminal history fee, and the processing fee required by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). CJIS must forward to the board and to the applicant the criminal history record information of the applicant. If information is reported to CJIS after the date of the initial CHRC, CJIS must provide the board and the individual with a revised printed statement of the individual’s CHRC record. Information obtained from CJIS is confidential, may not be redisseminated, and may be used only for licensing purposes. The subject of a CHRC may contest the contents of the printed statement issued by CJIS.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury (or worse) in Maryland due to medical negligence, you should promptly find a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer who may investigate your Maryland medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a Maryland medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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