Former surgeon sentenced for forging prescriptions | The Columbus Dispatch

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

Grove City, OH

#22 Jul 29, 2011
Observer wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
So the mitigating factors out weight the aggravating factors in this case?
Mother

Westerville, OH

#23 Jul 29, 2011
Observer wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
I agree, most of the people we see who are sentenced to prison time have a long 'rap sheet' and have been given multiple chances to rehabilitate themselves. Because he is a doctor and has money people think he is receiving special treatment when he is not. Paul was a wonderful physician, who got hooked on prescription drugs, he is seeking treatment. If he chooses not to follow treatment then yes, prison time is appropriate. Paul is also a father and I personally hope he succeeds.
Mother

Westerville, OH

#24 Jul 29, 2011
marc wrote:
LET AN AMERICAN TRY TO GET OUT OF A DEAL LIKE THIS AND I`LL BET HE WOULD`NT GET OFF THIS EASILY!!!!!!!!!!
Paul is an american you idiot
Precedence

New Albany, OH

#25 Jul 29, 2011
Observer wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
What kind of message does this send to the public when he gets a light sentence for his felony conviction of forgery and drug abuse? I'm guessing more people will do it and get the same punishment he got, which is nothing but a slap on the wrist.
Observer

Columbus, OH

#26 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.
He doesn't have a license to practice. There are several MDs in the Ohio prison system, and the most that they can do is act as orderlies. They cannot practice any medicine. And, as convicted felons, they will not be able to get their licenses reinstated unless their convictions are reversed or vacated.
Observer

Columbus, OH

#27 Jul 29, 2011
Steve wrote:
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."
As I said in a previous post, treatment without conviction is available to anyone who qualifies, including "average Joes". I have seen savvy appointed counsel and public defenders representing the indigent get their clients into the program. If it works, it saves us all a lot of money and someone's future. If it doesn't, there's still prison. Money has very little to do with it.
Observer

Columbus, OH

#28 Jul 29, 2011
puggy wrote:
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.
Court records are public, as are some medical board records. If the Dr. is reinstated, his ability to prescribe controlled substances would not necessarily be.
Observer

Columbus, OH

#29 Jul 29, 2011
Vin wrote:
<quoted text>
So the mitigating factors out weight the aggravating factors in this case?
In a way, but not altogether. If you have a program and qualify for treatment in lieu of conviction, then that's the way it goes if the prosecutor agrees and the judge signs the order. The mitigating factors come in at sentencing time.
Observer

Columbus, OH

#30 Jul 29, 2011
Mother wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree, most of the people we see who are sentenced to prison time have a long 'rap sheet' and have been given multiple chances to rehabilitate themselves. Because he is a doctor and has money people think he is receiving special treatment when he is not. Paul was a wonderful physician, who got hooked on prescription drugs, he is seeking treatment. If he chooses not to follow treatment then yes, prison time is appropriate. Paul is also a father and I personally hope he succeeds.
As should we all. I agree with your first observation only as it applies to nonviolent offenders committing largely victimless crimes. Commit a violent offense or ruin a lot of peoples' lives, even if you do it in a non violent way (Madoff comes to mind), and you will go to prison even if you have never gotten so much as a traffic ticket.
Observer

Columbus, OH

#31 Jul 29, 2011
marc wrote:
LET AN AMERICAN TRY TO GET OUT OF A DEAL LIKE THIS AND I`LL BET HE WOULD`NT GET OFF THIS EASILY!!!!!!!!!!
I'll pass over your insinuations, which are obnoxious. I assume that he is an American citizen, because, if he were not, he would be subject to deportation at the close of his case, not reinstatement of his medical license. We Americans are a diverse group, and we have all sorts of last names. Marc is a French name. Does that mean that you are a foreigner? Don't stoop so low.
puggy

Columbus, OH

#32 Jul 29, 2011
Observer wrote:
<quoted text>
Court records are public, as are some medical board records. If the Dr. is reinstated, his ability to prescribe controlled substances would not necessarily be.
I don't generally check court records when choosing a doctor. The medical records should be readily available if a doctor had admitted guilt to a felony. I don't think everything should be made public in a doctor's professional life (unlike many others) because I do understand things happen that are out of the doctor's control. And frivolous lawsuits are real. But if my surgeon has had such disregard for his own peers, I'm sure that disregard will extend to me as a patient. Are you then suggesting that everyone should automatically check court records when choosing doctors and surgeons? Don't you think that's a little irresponsible and careless on behalf of the medical board? Making such information readily available could actually save said doctors from frivolous lawsuits in the future, don't you think?
puggy

Columbus, OH

#33 Jul 29, 2011
Observer wrote:
<quoted text>
Court records are public, as are some medical board records. If the Dr. is reinstated, his ability to prescribe controlled substances would not necessarily be.
I guess my main issue isn't with his ability to practice medicine in the future. If he's a good doctor, then so be it. My main issue, Observer, is with his status as surgeon. Surgeons have sharp objects and unconscious patients, you know what I mean? I have a problem with him possibly being tempted by his surroundings and having his unsteady hand cutting the only skin I have. I've seen plenty of folks go through the Shakes of Withdrawal. I don't want that guy being my surgeon. And I've added up the pills he's subscribed to himself; it averages out to be a little more than four a day. That's not beyond rehab and a second chance at all, but it's not necessarily a chance I want to take with him, a knife, and my skin. I hope that doesn't sound horrible, but I would like an easier way for the less-than-savvy technical folks to find this information without it being amazingly complicated. And maybe doctors that have felonies are easier to find than I think. If this is true, can you give me a link to check out my past surgeons and doctors?
Eyes wide open

Columbus, OH

#34 Jul 30, 2011
Stinky B from KFC wrote:
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......
How does it feel to make a total idiot of yourself? Show the rest of the world and show us just one other post where I said anything about race. Just one!

You should take advise from some smart old man that said it is better for people to think you are a fool, than to open your mouth and convince them you are. Or something like that.
Thunderlips

Dublin, OH

#35 Jul 30, 2011
puggy wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't generally check court records when choosing a doctor. The medical records should be readily available if a doctor had admitted guilt to a felony. I don't think everything should be made public in a doctor's professional life (unlike many others) because I do understand things happen that are out of the doctor's control. And frivolous lawsuits are real. But if my surgeon has had such disregard for his own peers, I'm sure that disregard will extend to me as a patient. Are you then suggesting that everyone should automatically check court records when choosing doctors and surgeons? Don't you think that's a little irresponsible and careless on behalf of the medical board? Making such information readily available could actually save said doctors from frivolous lawsuits in the future, don't you think?
The Ohio medical board puts up all public information, including their disciplinary actions, on their website. All you or anyone has to do is check for the particular doctor, and in my opinion not doing so is "irresponsible and careless" on the part of the patient.
crooks in high places

Columbus, OH

#36 Jul 30, 2011
Eyes wide open wrote:
Must be a white dude. The black man would be in lock up by now.
agreed. a black or poor white person would be sent to jail. hell if a poor person sells their prescribed pills and gets caught, they would get jail time, not probation. this is BS
Observer

Columbus, OH

#37 Jul 30, 2011
crooks in high places wrote:
<quoted text> agreed. a black or poor white person would be sent to jail. hell if a poor person sells their prescribed pills and gets caught, they would get jail time, not probation. this is BS
As I said before, your generalization does not apply. People of all hues and economic status are eligible for consideration for treatment in lieu of conviction, and many have been granted it. The operative word in your post is "sells". Selling drugs makes all the difference. What little information there is in the article makes it very probable that he was getting the drugs for himself. You can get into a program to deal with your addiction. In many cases, the remedy for fostering other people's addictions by selling them drugs is prison. The court can't put you into a rehab program to cure someone else's addiction. Please drop off your BS in an appropriate container.
the system helped me

Westerville, OH

#38 Aug 1, 2011
This dude is a stand up guy. Some of these MFers busted in the medical field are not, granted!

We need to look into what has changed in the nature of these medications in the last 10 years that people can't seem to put them down! Just like the cigarette companies putting addictive things in cigarettes other than nicotine. Something shady is going on here...
Kelsey

Tokyo, Japan

#39 Nov 15, 2013
I have ordered prescription drugs (without a prescription) from ZTOPIX. COM about two years ago, and was pleased with the speed and quality of service.
I'm thinking of doing the same thing with my medication. The meds is expensive, but there is a generic version available overseas.
I love the idea of taking responsibility for my own health (or lack of health) and skipping the bureaucracy... to say nothing of having to drive to the doctor, wait in line, yet again, to get a prescription refilled.

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