I have known Dr. Patrick, a neurosurgeon, since approximately 1984. I did a family medicine residency at Brackenridge Hospital and was assigned to his practice for a few weeks of neurosurgery exposure. He was one of the trauma surgeons. I trusted him enough to refer patients to him and his partner from time to time after I was in private solo practice. He was sued for malpractice and this changed his life. He was conned by the medical/pharmaceutical industrial complex then and remains conned to this day. How did this industry do this?
Dr. Patrick, by my understanding of the information passed around at the hospital, was sued when a patient he performed emergency life-saving surgery on required blood transfusions and became HIV positive. Since this occurred before there was a blood test for HIV, this seemed unfair to him. I cannot recall exactly but I believed a jury found him innocent of malpractice accusations. Then he went to law school and became a huge tort reform advocate. He was conned. How so? I realized this when I began exploring the concepts advanced by Peter Duesberg Ph. D. of U C Berkeley. This respected scientist with impeccable credentials began publishing in the 1980’s that the science did not support HIV as the cause of AIDS. I only became aware of the controversy when I read the article about the poor quality/integrity of HIV drug research in Harpers March 2006. Do your own evaluation. Read the Harpers article online at harpers.org. Read about Peter Duesberg’s accomplishments. Admit that you didn’t even know there was a controversy. I know that the vast majority of physicians, including infectious disease specialists, in Austin Texas are unaware that the issue of HIV as a cause of AIDS is unproven. We were duped by the pharmaceutical industry which markets unethically. Dr. Patrick’s life (not to mention the life of the unfortunate patient requiring emergency life saving surgery) was changed by the social consequences of this scam. I believe that consumer protections were unfairly and possibly unconstitutionally damaged by the tort reform movement to protect physician’s assets.
Dr. Patrick was also an attorney representing me during a divorce in 1999. The divorce was complicated by the fact I was in an encephalopathy aggravated repeatedly by physician mis-diagnosis and mismanagement. Dr. Patrick was ethically challenged by this situation. He let me down ethically repeatedly. He endangered my life and my child’s life. He knew that I was considering suing one of the physicians involved in my care. I knew that a physician suing another for failure to diagnose would change the standard of care in Texas. It was really time for this to happen. I understood from the perspective of practicing primary care and minor emergency care in Texas for 20 years that mis-diagnosis of persons with sleep deprivation syndromes was rampant. It was time for physicians to be held responsible for their callousness. Dr. Patrick was instrumental in heading this off. Then, he entered into employment with the government and went after my medical license.At least, the licensing board employee monitoring me admitted that Dr. Patrick had not recused himself. No wonder he didn’t, I took the issue of incompetent forensic experts required by Texas judge’s in divorce court into Federal court and his hind end was exposed.
What could be cited as the reason for going after my license? They couldn’t cite the encephalopathy. That would lead back to the physicians that had failed to recognize it. Besides, I had adjusted my practice patterns instinctively, referring out complicated patients and limiting my hours and taking off on extended medical leave appropriately. Plus, there was the fact that my intellectual abilities were not below that which a board certified neuropsychologist and neurorehabilitation physician would certify as capable of practicing medicine, albeit with limitations (that I had already self-imposed). For example, my central auditory processing (ability to decipher spoken words) was so slow that I could not efficiently see enough patients to make the overhead for a private practice. Logic and experience combined to keep me from missing surgical conditions and myocardial emergencies. No, the state of Texas decided to try to stop me from practicing because the forensic psychiatrist on their board believed sending so many patients for sleep medicine evaluations was evidence of an unstable mental status! I had already reviewed the research extensively and understood that key players in the field of sleep medicine believed that 20% of the U S population had sleep apnea (see The Promise of Sleep by William C. Dement of Stanford). Almost every patient I had sent actually had , on polysomnogram, evidence of an impairing sleep diagnosis. Thus my experiences are available to those intent on reforming the criminal justice system to one where the victims of crime should have the right to insist on accurate diagnosis thus helping the persons committing crimes have a chance to actually improve their behavior.