State Medical Boards Need to be More Cautious When Doctors Move to Escape Medical Malpractice Claims in Another State
When the same doctor keeps making mistakes, he needs to be stopped. If that same doctor moves to another state and gets protected by state laws, patients are at great risk.
Sometimes a doctor that keeps making medical errors gets his name in the paper. At least this one particular doctor certainly did, and while he is not necessarily representational of all doctors, he does serve as a bellwether for patients and other doctors. Many doctors do a fine job under difficult and often trying circumstances. But unfortunately is just takes one bad doctor to affect patient lives.
Dr. Stefan Konasiewicz has almost seen as much media time as Octomom. Just last month, he was on trial in Minnesota for negligently doing a brain biopsy that ultimately resulted in the patient sustaining a severe brain injury. The patient was left with cognitive defects, impaired speech and lost the ability to walk. This is not the only medical misstep the doctor has been accused of either.
While still living in Minnesota, and before he moved to Texas, this doctor had nine medical malpractice lawsuits filed against him between 1997 and 2008. He was reprimanded by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice, and settled five of the lawsuits for roughly $3.2 million (two of the cases involved wrongful deaths).
The Minnesota Medical Board took the unusual step of publicly reprimanding him for unprofessional and unethical conduct in four cases that ended in patients sustaining injuries, becoming quadriplegic or dying. The medical board in Wisconsin also commented on him, as he had a license in Wisconsin too.
However, this doctor moved to Texas, whose state medical board did not feel there was any reason to put any restrictions on him. In other words, he has a clear medical license and can do what he pleases. Should this doctor’s current and potential patients be concerned that he is allowed to practice, given his track record in other states?
They definitely should be extremely concerned. It is their lives on the line. What patient would choose a doctor branded as unprofessional and who was responsible for many horrific injuries to his patients in other states? What would make the Texas Medical Board think this doctor had suddenly changed?
The bottom line is that if the state medical board in Texas is not going to be cautious about a doctor with flagrant cases of egregious medical malpractice, the public is on its own. Their only recourse would be to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, with strict medical malpractice caps in place, thanks to the legislature, the public is unprotected from medical negligence. What happened to the concept of justice for all?