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Ex-VA doctor fired for drinking charged in deaths of misdiagnosed patients

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August 20, 2019 | 7:42pm

A physician who was fired from an Arkansas veteran’s hospital for being drunk on the job is now charged with killing three sufferers he misdiagnosed.

In a single case, Dr. Robert Morris Levy allegedly declared a affected person cancer-free after a biopsy, solely to have the person die of prostate most cancers, in accordance with courtroom papers.

In at the least two instances federal prosecutors stated he cast signatures and paperwork to cowl up deadly blunders – whilst he dodged random drug and alcohol checks by consuming a concoction of methyl and butanol that wouldn’t present up on the checks.

Levy, former chief pathologist on the Fayetteville, Ark., Veteran’s Well being Care System of the Ozarks, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, fraud and making false statements.

He was first caught consuming on the job in 2016 after he registered a blood-alcohol stage of .396 — almost 5 instances Arkansas’ authorized restrict of .08. He had his medical license suspended and was compelled to bear three months of rehab.

However he was again at work by the tip of the 12 months, and prosecutors stated he continued to indicate up drunk — whilst he skated via a dozen blood and urine checks because of his favourite potion.

When he was lastly caught in June 2018, the Veterans Administration launched an investigation that combed via the almost 34,000 instances he dealt with since he was employed to the $225,000-a-year job in 2005, discovering greater than three,000 errors, misdiagnoses or irregularities.

Prosecutors stated he tried to cowl up his errors by falsifying medical information for the vets he was treating, and in a single case cast the identify of one other physician to make it seem the second pathologist concurred with Levy’s blown prognosis. He allegedly additionally lied to investigators from the VA and the US Attorneys Workplace.

“This indictment should remind us all that this country has a responsibility to care for those who have served honorably,” Duane Kees, US Lawyer for the Western District of Arkansas, stated ina assertion. “When that trust is violated through criminal conduct, those responsible must be held accountable.”

Levy pleaded not responsible at his arraignment in Little Rock on Tuesday.

With the AP

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