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Life sentence for doctor found guilty of medical malpractice

Although this case is from another state, New Jersey residents may be wise to take note of why this doctor received a sentence of life in prison. In this medical malpractice case, the doctor received guilty verdicts on 27 criminal charges. This included nine charges of second-degree murder.

Nine patients were infected with hepatitis C. The district attorney stated that making lots of money -- and not the health and safety of his patients -- was the doctor's main concern. Contributing to his fortunes was the practice of prioritizing speed over hygiene in his large gastroenterology practice in Las Vegas. By allegedly using the same syringes on subsequent patients, the doctor's office infected nine people with hepatitis C, two of whom have since died as a result.

Hundreds of patients have potentially been placed at risk by this "money-saving" practice. The investigators believe that the contamination of vials with hepatitis C happened as far back as 2007 and stems from two patients. By re-using the syringes during the endoscopies performed at his practice, the hepatitis C virus was consequently injected into many patients.

If blood infected with the Hepatitis C virus from one person enters the body of another person, inflammation of the liver may be the result. By and large this cross contamination occurs by sharing needles, but open wounds could also cause exposure. Sharing drinks, hugging and kissing cannot transmit the Hepatitis C virus.

The procedure of endoscopy is inserting a camera attached to a tube into the body of a patient, in order to ensure a perfect view of the organs. This process investigates symptoms to aid in the diagnosis process. Apart from the second-degree murder charges, the doctor's guilty verdicts included insurance fraud, theft and negligence causing significant bodily harm. If a New Jersey doctor is found guilty in a medical malpractice case of the same gravity, similar sentences could be imposed.

Source: medicaldaily.com, Las Vegas Doctor, Dipak Desai, Sentenced To Life In Prison After Infecting Nine People With Hepatitis C, Lecia Bushak, Oct. 25, 2013

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