Monday, April 16, 2018

Powell v. Bear Valley Community Hospital (Cal. Ct. App. - April 16, 2018)

"Dr. Powell practiced medicine in both Texas and California as a general surgeon. In 2000, the medical executive committee of Brownwood Regional Medical Center (Brownwood), in Texas, found that Dr. Powell failed to advise a young boy's parents that he severed the boy's vas deferens during a hernia procedure or of the ensuing implications. Further, the committee found that Dr. Powell falsely represented to Brownwood's medical staff, on at least two occasions, that he fully disclosed the circumstances to the parents—behavior which the committee considered to be dishonest, obstructive, and which prevented appropriate follow-up care. Based on the committee's findings, Brownwood terminated Dr. Powell's staff membership and clinical privileges."

First of all:  Ouch.  Second:  Seems to me like the termination makes sense.

Though Texas had a different view.  "The Texas State Board of Medical Examiners (Texas Board) completed an investigation of Dr. Powell's revocation of staff privileges at Brownwood. In a letter dated September 12, 2001 (2001 letter), the Texas Board advised Dr. Powell that its investigation, file No. "00-1243," was being "CLOSED with no action recommended because the evidence does not indicate a violation of the Texas Medical Practice Act.""

What follows -- to the surprise of no one -- is a series of lawsuits, Dr. Powell's attempt to obtain privileges at different hospitals, etc.  Dr. Powell loses his (Texas) lawsuit against Brownwood on summary judgment, says various things to Bear Valley Community Hospital and obtains privileges, gets into a subsequent fight with Bear Valley as well, etc. etc.

You can read all about it here.

All this ends unhappily for Dr. Powell.  Here's how the Court of Appeal concludes its opinion:

"The Texas court opinion and a report by Brownwood's fair hearing committee were relevant to whether Dr. Powell misrepresented the reasons for his termination of privileges. The Brownwood patient's case illustrated how Dr. Powell's lack of candor and/or integrity could result in adverse patient outcomes. There is no evidence in the record that the Board acted irrationally. In summary, Bear Valley provided Dr. Powell a fair procedure in denying his request for active staff privileges and reappointment to the medical staff. . . . The judgment denying Dr. Powell's petition for writ of mandate is affirmed. Costs on appeal are awarded to Bear Valley."


Though small solace, I imagine, to the boy whose vas deferens was severed.