Former surgeon sentenced for forging ...

Former surgeon sentenced for forging prescriptions | The Columbus Dispatch

There are 38 comments on the Columbus Dispatch story from Jul 29, 2011, titled Former surgeon sentenced for forging prescriptions | The Columbus Dispatch. In it, Columbus Dispatch reports that:

A former surgeon who admitted to forging the signatures of other doctors to obtain pain pills was sentenced to three years probation today.

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Eyes wide open

Columbus, OH

#1 Jul 29, 2011
Must be a white dude. The black man would be in lock up by now.
instine

Columbus, OH

#2 Jul 29, 2011
must be a black dude a white man would be in the pokey by now.
Stinky B from KFC

Logan, OH

#3 Jul 29, 2011
Nah, couldn't a white dude, has to be a black man, probably started playing the race card right away, complained of racial profiling or something like that. Hey Eyes wide open, ever get tired or weary of perpetuating racism in all your posts? Betcha just hate it that it's soooooo obvious that you hate yourself most of all for who and what you are, huh? Game over......
Unbelieveable

Grove City, OH

#4 Jul 29, 2011
No prison time? And he can keep his medical license? If he weren't a doctor, he probably would receive some prison time.
Woody

Hilliard, OH

#5 Jul 29, 2011
Wow. How harsh is that. 4 meetings/week. How will he ever manage.
gumezin

Columbus, OH

#6 Jul 29, 2011
Eyes wide open wrote:
Must be a white dude. The black man would be in lock up by now.
Must be Rush Limbaugh's cousin!!. Now we know where the oxycotin came from.
Wild Wild West

Tower Hill, Canada

#7 Jul 29, 2011
Another druggie doctor getting a slap on the hands. How about prison time and never getting this license back. That is fair. All should be treated equal in sentencing when committing crimes. A criminal is a criminal period.
Observer

Columbus, OH

#8 Jul 29, 2011
Unbelieveable wrote:
No prison time? And he can keep his medical license? If he weren't a doctor, he probably would receive some prison time.
Not enough information here. Best guess is that he got hooked on Percocet and was forging prescriptions for his own use. He was caught. Surrendered licence pending outcome of criminal case. Entered and is successfully involved in rehab. Plea and sentence is conditioned on continued successful involvement in rehab. He may be in a treatment in lieu of conviction program where a defendant can eventually have charges dismissed. That usually depends on there being no other victims of the offense(s) and a successful completion of a drug rehab program. If/when that happens, he could have his license reinstated. That would be up to the medical board. It would be very unlikely that he would be reinstated without a dismissal of the charges. If they do reinstate him, he would almost certainly be on a probationary status, and he would be watched very carefully for signs of reabuse.

This is not a "rich man's privilege", and contrary to the delusions of the usual suspects here, it has nothing to do with race. It is available to many first time drug related offenders. It requires a motion and an admission to the offense(s). The risk is that if the defendant fails to complete the program or is involved in any other offenses pending the outcome of the case, the original sentence can be enforced. And that's not probation. Lurking behind every probation is a jail or prison sentence waiting to be imposed if there's a violation of the probation.

Treatment in lieu of conviction is a very useful tool. It separates out the first timers who are capable of rehabilitation. Makes reoffending less likely. And it removes the handicap that a criminal conviction leaves. And it keeps low level offenders from clogging our jails and prisons. It's not available to the hard cases. The benefit is a clean record if one is successful. The risk is that the defendant has usually entered a guilty plea to more than the usual plea bargain would require, so he/she runs the risk of doing more time in the event of failure. It's risky business for any defendant, for sure, and many don't want to run the risk, but for some others, it is one of the few bright lights in our rather bizarre system of dealing with drug abusers.

Like I said, I'm doing a lot of reading between the lines here, but it's about the only way the case could have the outcome indicated in this very sketchy article.
roger

Powell, OH

#9 Jul 29, 2011
Put him in prison, let him practice there for a reasonable amount of time and he can get his license back.
Really

Grove City, OH

#10 Jul 29, 2011
Observer wrote:
<quoted text>
Not enough information here. Best guess is that he got hooked on Percocet and was forging prescriptions for his own use. He was caught. Surrendered licence pending outcome of criminal case. Entered and is successfully involved in rehab. Plea and sentence is conditioned on continued successful involvement in rehab. He may be in a treatment in lieu of conviction program where a defendant can eventually have charges dismissed. That usually depends on there being no other victims of the offense(s) and a successful completion of a drug rehab program. If/when that happens, he could have his license reinstated. That would be up to the medical board. It would be very unlikely that he would be reinstated without a dismissal of the charges. If they do reinstate him, he would almost certainly be on a probationary status, and he would be watched very carefully for signs of reabuse.
This is not a "rich man's privilege", and contrary to the delusions of the usual suspects here, it has nothing to do with race. It is available to many first time drug related offenders. It requires a motion and an admission to the offense(s). The risk is that if the defendant fails to complete the program or is involved in any other offenses pending the outcome of the case, the original sentence can be enforced. And that's not probation. Lurking behind every probation is a jail or prison sentence waiting to be imposed if there's a violation of the probation.
Treatment in lieu of conviction is a very useful tool. It separates out the first timers who are capable of rehabilitation. Makes reoffending less likely. And it removes the handicap that a criminal conviction leaves. And it keeps low level offenders from clogging our jails and prisons. It's not available to the hard cases. The benefit is a clean record if one is successful. The risk is that the defendant has usually entered a guilty plea to more than the usual plea bargain would require, so he/she runs the risk of doing more time in the event of failure. It's risky business for any defendant, for sure, and many don't want to run the risk, but for some others, it is one of the few bright lights in our rather bizarre system of dealing with drug abusers.
Like I said, I'm doing a lot of reading between the lines here, but it's about the only way the case could have the outcome indicated in this very sketchy article.
Are you a lawyer or a person who has entered into this program before? You seem to know a lot. Since his crime is a felony and he got convicted, he should have received prison time.
Reader

Columbus, OH

#11 Jul 29, 2011
Observer wrote:
<quoted text>
Not enough information here. Best guess is that he got hooked on Percocet and was forging prescriptions for his own use. He was caught. Surrendered licence pending outcome of criminal case. Entered and is successfully involved in rehab. Plea and sentence is conditioned on continued successful involvement in rehab. He may be in a treatment in lieu of conviction program where a defendant can eventually have charges dismissed. That usually depends on there being no other victims of the offense(s) and a successful completion of a drug rehab program. If/when that happens, he could have his license reinstated. That would be up to the medical board. It would be very unlikely that he would be reinstated without a dismissal of the charges. If they do reinstate him, he would almost certainly be on a probationary status, and he would be watched very carefully for signs of reabuse.
This is not a "rich man's privilege", and contrary to the delusions of the usual suspects here, it has nothing to do with race. It is available to many first time drug related offenders. It requires a motion and an admission to the offense(s). The risk is that if the defendant fails to complete the program or is involved in any other offenses pending the outcome of the case, the original sentence can be enforced. And that's not probation. Lurking behind every probation is a jail or prison sentence waiting to be imposed if there's a violation of the probation.
Treatment in lieu of conviction is a very useful tool. It separates out the first timers who are capable of rehabilitation. Makes reoffending less likely. And it removes the handicap that a criminal conviction leaves. And it keeps low level offenders from clogging our jails and prisons. It's not available to the hard cases. The benefit is a clean record if one is successful. The risk is that the defendant has usually entered a guilty plea to more than the usual plea bargain would require, so he/she runs the risk of doing more time in the event of failure. It's risky business for any defendant, for sure, and many don't want to run the risk, but for some others, it is one of the few bright lights in our rather bizarre system of dealing with drug abusers.
Like I said, I'm doing a lot of reading between the lines here, but it's about the only way the case could have the outcome indicated in this very sketchy article.
I think that you are accurate in your assessment. However, those with means (to hire a lawyer, to pay for treatment, etc) and a reputation do seem to fare better in the courts.

Personally, I think that the issue is that treatment is an under-used option for many offenders. Franklin County has a drug court for first-time, non-violent offenders, but my understanding is that it is nowhere near capacity. In fact, they have the capability to enforce a longer and more stringent probation (including a requirement for rehab and meetings, etc) backed up by the threat of incarceration. More effective.

As far as the doc is concerned--it is a tough call. Some physicians do recover and follow the path back to full prescribing priviledges gradually. Others, not so much. The field itself is full of pitfalls in the form of easy access.
sethspeaks

Phoenix, AZ

#12 Jul 29, 2011
If that would have beed you or i we would have went to jail, wonder who else he was getting durgs for makes you go "hummmmmmmmm"
reality speaks

Columbus, OH

#13 Jul 29, 2011
roger wrote:
Put him in prison, let him practice there for a reasonable amount of time and he can get his license back.
now that is an excellent idea; and also saves the state money.

he actually would be PAYING for his crime

perfect

Since: Jul 10

Columbus, OH

#14 Jul 29, 2011
Really wrote:
<quoted text>
Are you a lawyer or a person who has entered into this program before? You seem to know a lot. Since his crime is a felony and he got convicted, he should have received prison time.
This happens with doctors and nurses on the first offense almost all of the time. You act as if he robbed a liquor store and shot a clerk.
Huh

Grove City, OH

#15 Jul 29, 2011
Wilhelm Klink wrote:
<quoted text>
This happens with doctors and nurses on the first offense almost all of the time. You act as if he robbed a liquor store and shot a clerk.
He stole someone else's identity and possibly ruined that person's reputation. Plus, he is a doctor, he should know not to abuse drugs.
puggy

Columbus, OH

#17 Jul 29, 2011
This is only fair if, after all is said and done, his future patients have the ability to obtain information on his suspension and reinstatement. I'm tired of shady doctors getting additional opportunities to mess up, possibly on unsuspecting patients. He probably shouldn't be able to have such easy access to drugs, either, which a surgeon most certainly has. Not too many recovering drunks get jobs behind the bar; it just isn't wise for their health.
Observer

Columbus, OH

#18 Jul 29, 2011
Really wrote:
<quoted text>
Are you a lawyer or a person who has entered into this program before? You seem to know a lot. Since his crime is a felony and he got convicted, he should have received prison time.
The former. Most first-time nonviolent felons are placed on probation. I know that many here want to see everyone in jail, but the simple fact is that the US has more people per capita in jail or prison than any other industrialized country in the world. What people want, and what they are willing to pay for are quite different things. People like the Dr. are low risk defendants. He was, in effect, the only victim of his crimes. Putting him in prison before trying some other remedy is simply a waste of time and money, your tax money. Besides, I suspect that if it had been a conventional plea bargain, he probably would have gotten a couple of misdemeanors and probation or a relatively short jail sentence anyway. This way, the risk for him is greater, but the possible reward, for him and us, is greater. It can be a win-win situation. And if there's a loss, it's his.
Steve

Columbus, OH

#19 Jul 29, 2011
It's a shame that someone in his position will walk away scott free, get his medical license back, and more than likely abuse substance again. Just goes to show you that if you get a high priced attorney, you can get away with anything. Isn't anyone else SICK of this? The average Joe on the street wouldn't have a chance. This is what is wrong with this country....money can get you anywhere. Shame on you all for allowing this travesty of "justice."
Voice of reality

Dublin, OH

#20 Jul 29, 2011
These pain pill addictions are often super sad, because they all too often result from an medical accident and not from an intent to start abusing illegal drugs. For that reason, leniency is proper in these cases -- the first time.
marc

Columbus, OH

#21 Jul 29, 2011
LET AN AMERICAN TRY TO GET OUT OF A DEAL LIKE THIS AND I`LL BET HE WOULD`NT GET OFF THIS EASILY!!!!!!!!!!

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