There is the old joke that goes “what do you call the guy that graduated last in his class at medical school? Doctor.” As funny as it is to point out that academic achievement does not necessarily lead to capable professionalism, sometimes that punchline can really hit home.
We just heard a story about a man who may have been the worst doctor in the United States. But now, after having several patients die or become permanently disabled because of his criminal negligence, a Texas court has issued up some Texas-style justice on him and sentenced him to a life behind bars. You are not going to believe this story until you watch this video.
Forty six year old Christopher Duntsch is facing life in prison today after being found guilty of deliberately “botching” several surgeries and leaving a trail of dead and permanently disabled patients in his destructive path.
Duntsch had been a surgeon in Dallas County until 2013 when his license was revoked. He claimed at the time that “99 per cent of everything that has been said about me is completely false.”
The medical review board revoked his right to practice medicine after investigating six surgeries that had gone horribly wrong. After the review board released their findings, the District Attorney’s office began their own investigation and indicted him under a new law that allows incompetent doctors to be held criminally liable for their actions.
As he was the first case tried under the new law, Faith Johnson of the District Attorney’s office said in a news conference “We have done something historic here. The pain won’t go away for [the victims]. But we hope they will just have a little joy to know that the person that did this thing to them will be serving a life sentence.”
The trial was replete with horror stories of patients waking up during surgeries, improperly performed procedures including cutting through major veins, placing screws and plates along patient’s spinal cords, leaving surgical materials inside the bodies of patients, and several deaths and permanent injuries.
In one instance, prosecutors presented the case of Kelly Martin. Martin went in for a simple surgery prior to going on a well deserved holiday cruise with her family, when Duntsch sliced through her spinal cord and a severed a major artery. Martin died on the operating table.
In another case, 63 year old Floella Brown died in July 2012, after suffering stroke mid surgery. The Texas Medical Review board later found that Duntsch “went overboard” during the surgery.
Duntsch’s attorneys had argued that he was not so much criminal as incompetent, but an affidavit from a former employee shows that he may have acted pre-meditatively during his attacks. In a December 2011 email, the doctor said “I am ready to leave the love and kindness and goodness and patience that I mix with everything else that I am and become a cold blooded killer.”
He will now spend the rest of his life behind bars for his actions.
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