Authorities: Syracuse Surgeon Slapped, Insulted Sedated Patients
A New York surgeon was the subject of a government investigation after a complaint alleged he often slapped anesthetized patients at St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center on the buttocks and called them derogatory and inappropriate names prior to surgery, according to an April 6 article in the Syracuse Post-Post Standard.
The article states a federal report from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services does not identify the doctor, but notes that a complaint filed with the state's Health Department does name Dr. Michael T. Clarke, an orthopedic surgeon. The results of the investigation, the Post-Standard article says, found that the surgeon slapped patients so hard that red marks or hand prints were visible on their bodies.
St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center is facing sanctions over the doctor’s alleged behavior, which may have gone on for more than a year until a complaint was filed with hospital administrators this past December. The governmental probe concluded that the hospital didn’t address the issue even after a facility staffer reported concerns in early 2013, and that other staffers hesitated or failed to report information.
Possible sanctions against the hospital include possible termination from Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Dr. Clarke operated at St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center until February of this year before moving on to another hospital. He is currently being investigated by the Onondaga County District Attorney's Office for possible criminal conduct. That investigation is pending. According to the Post-Standard article, Dr. Clarke's lawyer told the newspaper that the surgeon "adamantly denies any wrongdoing."
Source: Syracuse Post-Standard -- http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/04/feds_say_syracuse_doctor_slapped_sedated_patients_on_butts.html