Dr. Fix-a-flat (Oneal Morris) in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida has been re-arrested as more victims of his scam surgeries have come forward.
This arrest comes as other American cities, (most notably, Las Vegas) make a concerted push to protect consumers with a new campaign against fraudulent practices and unlicensed physicians. However, these ‘campaigns’ are primarily informational commercials aimed at the Latino community.
There is a new statewide task force aimed at addressing these incidents, but as of yet – there have been no legislative changes to protect victims of these scams. Equally disturbing, in at least one of these cases – one of the pretend doctors used his fake status to sexually assault his victims.
In another disturbing sidenote out of Nevada – Teva pharmaceuticals settled a case against them for the distribution of propofol outside of proper channels/ and in improper quantities. (If you remember, this is how Dr. Conrad Murray obtained the anesthetic for use on Michael Jackson.) As a result of this distribution of multi-use medications that should be exclusively used in hospital settings – several patients were inadvertently exposed to Hepatitis C (including the plaintiff who developed Hepatitis C as a result.)
[Multi-use vials mean that the same container of medication is used for multiple people – if the medication is drawn up using needles or other instruments that have already been exposed to patients – this places future patients in contact with blood and infectious agents.] Multi-use vials are a cost-containment measure for many institutions.
I hope that someone takes issue with out-patient colonoscopies as a whole since this in itself can be a very dangerous practice – and the research proves it. (The issue behind outpatient procedures such as colonoscopies is the use of unmonitored anesthesia. Most patients aren’t on monitors, no anesthesiologist is present, and the doctors performing the procedure are often unprepared in the event that a patient loses his airway (or stops breathing.) There was a landmark study several years ago – that showed that 70% of nonaesthesiologists underestimated the level of sedation in patients undergoing out-patient / office procedures. [I will continue looking for the link to this source.]
Frighteningly, a related paper demonstrated similar findings in a pediatric population. This South African paper voices similar concerns.