Tag Archives: patients

DesJarlais Fined $500 for Having Sex With Patients

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a licensed physician, was reprimanded and fined by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners for having sex with patients before he was elected to Congress, according to documents released Thursday.
The Republican won re-election last year despite revelations he had affairs with patients and once urged one of them to seek an abortion.
He was fined $500 for two counts of unprofessional conduct, and is responsible for up to $1,000 in costs for the panel’s investigation. He did not contest the findings
The ruling comes in response to two complaints filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which called the penalties “piteous.”
“This decision demonstrates that Tennessee’s ban on sexual exploitation of patients is essentially meaningless,” Melanie Sloan, the group’s executive director, said in a statement. “Doctors in the Volunteer State can freely prey on patients with little fear of repercussions.”
The watchdog group has also filed an ethics complaint in the U.S. House.
DesJarlais did not immediately return a message seeking comment from The Associated Press. But the congressman told The Tennessean newspaper: “I take responsibility for past mistakes and am happy to get this resolved.”
DesJarlais nevertheless called the complaint politically motivated, saying it’s “somewhat ironic” that he had gone without any complaints filed against him in the 20 years he practiced before his election to Congress.
DesJarlais has already drawn two Republican challengers in advance of next year’s primary. State Sen. Jim Tracy and state Rep. Joe Carr have far outraised the incumbent through the first quarter of the year.
During his 2010 and 2012 campaigns, DesJarlais tried to cast doubt on reports of violent behavior and multiple affairs before his divorce was finalized in 2001. But court transcripts released the week after the election showed he admitted to eight affairs, encouraged a lover to get an abortion, which he publicly opposes, and used a gun to intimidate his ex-wife during an argument.
The sworn testimony also revealed for the first time that the congressman had agreed when his ex-wife had two abortions.

Note: The CREW press release is below.

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DesJarlais Has Talked with Health Department Investigators

Embattled U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., has told a Nashville television station WKRN that state Health Department investigators have already spoken to him about complaints that he had sex with at least two patients, one of whom he urged to get an abortion in 2000.
“You know I have talked to constituents back home and for the most part, people I have talked to have been very supportive, pleased with the job I did in the last Congress,” the congressman told Nashville’s News 2 as he begins his second term.
“We saw a lot of TV both nationally, and certainly here in TN with a lot of politics of personal destruction I think people are ready to focus on the problems at hand.”
All this follows the Tennessee Democratic Party releasing the Pro-Life Congressman’s 2001 divorce transcripts shortly after his November re-election by 12-points over Democrat Eric Stewart.
It showed that while practicing medicine, DesJarlais dated a few patients, urged of one to get an abortion, and consented to an abortion for his then-wife.
DesJarlais has said in “God has forgiven him,” and “has asked constituents and fellow Christians to do the same.”
“I think that as you go through life, we make mistakes, and learn from them,” he said Friday. “We try to move on and be better for it. Sometimes in life, fortunately, we are given second chances.”
The divorce records also drew a medical ethics complaint with the Tennessee Department of Health from the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
“Again, this is a 13 to 14 year old issue and I am working with them in full cooperation,” said DesJarlais.
He was asked if he had recently met with the Tennessee Health Department officials. “Yes, they had some questions and I answered them.”

CREW Amends Ethics Complaint Against DesJarlais

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington responded Wednesday to new allegations against U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, again asking state medical authorities to investigate its ethics complaint against the physician-turned-congressman, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
“Who knows how many more women are out there, wary of coming forward for fear of embarrassment?” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a news release. “If Tennessee expects its doctors to follow the ban on sexual misconduct, the Board of Medical Examiners must take swift action.”
DesJarlais is a Republican running against Democrat Eric Stewart in the 4th District congressional race. On Oct. 12, the watchdog group filed an ethics complaint against DesJarlais after a phone transcript showed the anti-abortion Republican urging an unnamed patient with whom he had an affair to get an abortion in 2000.
CREW’s latest letter comes after a second woman told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that she dated DesJarlais while he was her doctor. She recalled marijuana use between the two and said he prescribed her pain medication on dates at his home.


Note: The CREW news release is below

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‘Black Listed’ Lakeshore Patients Will Remain in State Care

Kristi Nelson has reports on Gov. Bill Haslam’s plans to close Lakeshore Mental Health Institute at Knoxville, one beginning with the observation that the Legislature seems likely to accept the new arrangement and the other on legislator questioning about a “black list” of Lakeshore patients deemed too “challenging” for the private hospitals that will take over care of most state-paid patients.
Excerpt from the latter report:
At a Feb. 8 state House committee meeting, Knoxville Reps. Steve Hall and Joe Armstrong both asked Commissioner of Mental Health Douglas Varney about a “blacklist” that allegedly allowed local psychiatrist hospitals to turn away certain patients — patients, Armstrong said, Lakeshore Mental Health Institute has filled the “role” of taking in the past.
“Effectively, we have not gotten rid of that ‘blacklist'” with the contracts that are currently in place, Armstrong said, echoing concerns advocates, families and Lakeshore employees have voiced at various public meetings
. “We’ve had multiple meetings talking about issues like blacklisting,” Varney told committee members, adding that “admissions policies” will be addressed in the new contracts with providers.
Varney said he envisioned beds at Middle Tennessee State Mental Health Institute in Nashville, where patients will be sent if local providers can’t handle them, as a “safety valve” for patients who meet very specific criteria — not as a dumping ground.
Tony Spezia, CEO of Covenant Health, which owns Peninsula, said it has been taking “more challenging patients” all along. “We’ve essentially been seeing Lakeshore patients for a number of years,” as the state facility has downsized, Spezia said. “Our admissions have been three times what Lakeshore’s are.”