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Ohio Appeals Court Finds Evidence Supports Revocation Of Physician�s License

 
 

HLD, v. 33, n. 7 (July 2005)

Ohio Appeals Court Finds Evidence Supports Revocation Of Physician's License

An Ohio appeals court recently affirmed a permanent medical license revocation, finding that the Ohio State Medical Board's findings and conclusions were supported by the evidence.

The Ohio State Medical Board notified Glenda Dahlquist, M.D., a pain management specialist, of its intention to initiate disciplinary proceedings against her due to her care of sixteen patients, which the board alleged fell below the standard of care. The board also alleged that Dahlquist failed to use reasonable care in the administration of drugs and failed to employ reasonable scientific methods in the selection of drugs for treatment.

            Dahlquist requested a hearing at the conclusion of which the hearing examiner issued an exhaustive report containing a patient-by-patient account of the facts. The hearing examiner concluded that Dahlquist "prescribed medications in types, amounts, and combinations that were inappropriate" and recommended permanent revocation of Dahlquist's medical license. Dahlquist objected and the board convened to consider the matter. The board amended the report to allow Dahlquist thirty days to wind down her practice before her license would be revoked. Dahlquist appealed and the trial court affirmed the order. Dahlquist again appealed.

            The Ohio Court of Appeals, Tenth District, affirmed. Dahlquist first argued that the court abused its discretion in finding that a discussion between one of the state's expert witnesses and a board member was privileged. The appeals court found that Dahlquist was able to cross examine the witness extensively and had not demonstrated that she was prejudiced in any way by the court's ruling.

            Dahlquist next argued that she was denied due process because the state's expert witness based his testimony on the standard of medical care generally rather than the specific standard for treating patients with intractable pain. The appeals court found, however, that the board members posses specialized knowledge and are capable of "interpreting the technical requirements of the medical profession and determining whether a physician's conduct falls below the minimal standard of care." The appeals court found the board reviewed all evidence presented and reached a conclusion supported by that evidence.

            Lastly, the court upheld the board's determination that Dahlquist was not amenable to reeducation. Although Dahlquist pointed to changes she had made in her practice to benefit patients, the board's conclusion that her violations were so severe that she could not be rehabilitated was supported by the evidence, the appeals court said.

Dahlquist v. Ohio State Med. Bd., No. 04AP-811 (Ohio Ct. App. May 10, 2005). To read the case, go to http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/10/2005/2005-ohio-2298.pdf

 

 

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