Doctors Don’t Care About Preventing Medical Malpractice
At least that’s the conclusion I’ve drawn after reading the following statement:
"Accountability for false complaints is long overdue," said Jane Orient, M.D., Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t take issue with that statement. But these aren’t normal circumstances. You see, that statement was made in connection with the felony prosecution of two nurses in Texas who reported a doctor they believed provided substandard care to his patients. The nurses in question not only followed their consciences, but also followed the law, because in Texas, nurses are legally required to report substandard care.
Now, take a look at the doctor the nurses turned in and see if you don’t suspect that this guy did in fact provide substandard care:
Let's start by taking another look at Dr. Rolando Arafiles. He graduated from medical school in the Phillipines in 1977. In 1994, he did an internship at Harbor Hospital in Baltimore. Two years later, he finished a residency in Family Medicine at SUNY Buffalo - but I can find no indication that he has ever been board certified in FP or any other specialty. In 2007, the Texas Medical Board restricted him from supervising physician's assistants because he had failed to properly supervise (pdf) a PA at a weight-loss clinic he worked for, and had failed to ensure that the clinic protocols met standards of care.
At the trial yesterday, Arafiles reportedly had difficulty even defining "standard of care". He said that diabetics heal as easily as anyone else. He was questioned about a number of medical errors he's made, and he explained that contrary to reports, he had not in fact intentionally sewn part of a suture kit to a patients finger, but had instead done so accidentally. According to the hospital administrator, Arafiles has been reprimanded for mistakes a number of times since he was hired in 2008, which was confirmed by a surprise state inspection.
On top of all that, Dr. Arafiles does not seem to have ever seen a non-traditional remedy that he didn't like. He's been selling alkalized water and colloidal silver on his website. He testified yesterday that he - and his buddy the sheriff - have been selling the Chopra Center-endorsed supplement beverage Zrii - a 25 ounce energy drink that seems to mostly consist of grape juice, and which retails on Amazon at a little over $50 per bottle. According to woo-megasite educate-yourself.org, Arafiles was offering IV Hydrogen Peroxide and Bioluminescence Therapy in 2002. More recently - as in Christmas, 2009 - Arafiles posted something on the "no-forced-vaccination" Yahoo! group asking when he would receive materials for a homeopathy class he was interested in.
In case you missed it, the key part of the above is that his business partner in selling bullshit herbal supplements is the local sheriff. No wonder the nurses got prosecuted, eh?
Even though we’ve got a barely-qualified doctor who is pushing herbal supplements to his patients, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is taking the position that the prosecution of the nurses is justified. Can you blame me for coming to the conclusion that doctors don’t care about preventing medical malpractice when their trade group thinks it’s OK to send a nurse to prison for ten years if she files a complaint against a doctor?