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Dr. Kevin Patterson- The Article

schart28

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https://www.cpsbc.ca/files/pdf/Dr_Kevin_Lee_Patterson_090127_f.pdf

January 27, 2009
Dr. PATTERSON, Kevin Lee
Salt Spring Island, BC
When reporting this release, it is requested that the name and location of the physician be provided in full in order to avoid confusion with other physicians who may have a similar name or initials.

VANCOUVER, BC, January 27, 2009: Following the issuance of disciplinary charges, Dr. Kevin Lee Patterson has admitted that he was guilty of unethical and unprofessional conduct with respect to breaching patient confidentiality. The disciplinary charges issued by the College were that Dr. Patterson breached his professional duty of confidentiality by writing an article which identified personal health information, including the name and details of his treatment of his patient, Canadian Forces Corporal Kevin Megeney (deceased), when he had no consent to do so. The article was published in the July/August 2007 edition of Mother Jones magazine. In determining the disposition of this matter, the College acknowledged and weighed the contribution that Dr. Patterson has made through his efforts as a civilian contract physician with the Canadian Forces, and through his published accounts of his experiences in war-torn regions. Dr. Patterson has assured the College that in
any future writings based on medical scenarios, or in any future works of journalism or fiction, he will not include the identities of patients or any information that could identify patients.
The College has imposed the following penalty:

(a) A formal written Reprimand by the Council of the College pursuant to section 60(3) of the Medical
Practitioners Act;

(b) Participation in reading and continuing medical education in the areas of ethics and professionalism
as directed by the College;

(c) Costs in the amount of $5,000.

Dr. Patterson’s future professional conduct must be beyond reproach in every respect. The penalty imposed by the College took into account Dr. Patterson’s admission of guilt, his contriteness and
remorse for his conduct, and his full cooperation throughout the College’s investigative process. Dr. Patterson also agreed to make a donation to a registered charity, acceptable to the College, in the amount of $7,000, representing the amount received by Dr. Patterson for the article he authored and published in Mother Jones magazine. The College of Physicians and Surgeons is the licensing and regulatory body for all physicians and surgeons in the province. Governed by provincial legislation, the College’s role is to protect the public by establishing, monitoring and enforcing high standards of qualification and ethical practice across the province.


Heidi M. Oetter, MD
Registrar
For more information / media inquiries, please contact:
Susan Prins
Director, Communications
604-733-7758, ext. 2248

---------------------

unfortunately this will not stop the unethical and unprofessional conduct of certain MO which have no respect to health information and the consent required to divulge this info...
 

The Bread Guy

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Shared in accordance with the "fair dealing" provisions, Section 29, of the Copyright Act.

B.C. doctor disciplined for writing about soldier's death in Afghanistan
Canadian Press, 27 Jan 09
Article link

A British Columbia doctor has been fined and ordered to undertake ethics training for publishing a graphic account of the death of a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan.

Dr. Kevin Lee Patterson admitted to unethical and unprofessional conduct for breaching confidentiality when he wrote the story that identified Cpl. Kevin Megeney and gave a detailed account of his March 2007 death.

The B.C. College of Physicians has ordered Patterson to pay $5,000 for the cost of his hearing and make a charitable donation of $7,000 - the amount he received for the story published in Mother Jones magazine.

"The penalty imposed by the College took into account Dr. Patterson's admission of guilt, his contriteness and remorse for his conduct, and his full co-operation throughout the College's investigative process," college registrar Dr. Heidi M. Oetter said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Patterson could not be reached for comment.

Karen Megeney, the deceased soldier's mother, said she was satisfied with Patterson's admission.

"I'm glad he did admit it," Karen Megeney said from her home in Stellarton, N.S. "We were shocked at the article. It was very graphic."

Patterson, of Saltspring Island, B.C., will also get a formal reprimand from the college and will have to participate in ethics education.

The Canadian Forces did not charge Patterson for writing the account, but Cpl. Matthew Wilcox faces multiple charges in connection with the death.

Megeney, a 25-year-old reservist from Stellarton, died after he was shot in the chest in his tent at Kandahar Airfield, the main NATO base in southern Afghanistan.

In the Mother Jones story, Patterson named Megeney and described in detail the final moments of his life.

"Cpl. Kevin Megeney's uniform is soaked with blood where the bullet has entered his right chest, just below his armpit. His eyes are wide open and his pupils fixed and dilated; there is no pulse. One of the men who brought him in says, 'We were just walking by his tent and heard the shot. Sounded like a 9-mm. No idea what happened.' "

He described the incisions doctors made in Megeney's chest to try to repair the damage and finding a bullet hole in his heart.

"'There is no cardiac activity at all. The lab tech arrives with armloads of packed red blood cells at the same time I manage to get a line into Megeney's femoral vein. Filips (another doctor) says, 'He's been pulseless now for 20 minutes. We should stop.' The room freezes as we all realize he is right. "

Megeney's family was outraged by the publication.

Karen Megeney said she and her husband had never heard of Mother Jones and were unaware of the article until it was published.

"We were out of town and by the time we got home and found out about it (the article) was already on the market."

She seemed to accept the college's penalties.

"They know what they're doing, I guess. That's what those people are there for."

She is a licenced practical nurse "and I know about ethics.

"I know I can't go and talk about any case, not name names, not discuss it, nothing."

It's been almost two years since her son's death and she and her husband are "doing well."

"The family's just changed. The whole world changed that day. We're just not the same but I think we're doing rather good."

The statement from the college said it took into account in disciplining Patterson his efforts as a civilian contract physician for the Canadian Forces working in war-torn countries.

It said Patterson assured the disciplinary board that any future writings based on medical scenarios, either journalism or fiction, would not include the identities of patients or any information that could identify patients.

 

PMedMoe

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schart28 said:
unfortunately this will not stop the unethical and unprofessional conduct of certain MO which have no respect to health information and the consent required to divulge this info...

Wow, you really have it in for someone, don't you?  Do you have any proof of this?
 

Blackadder1916

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schart28 said:
VANCOUVER, BC, January 27, 2009: Following the issuance of disciplinary charges, Dr. Kevin Lee Patterson has admitted that he was guilty of unethical and unprofessional conduct with respect to breaching patient confidentiality. The disciplinary charges issued by the College were that Dr. Patterson breached his professional duty of confidentiality by writing an article which identified personal health information, including the name and details of his treatment of his patient . . .

Dr. Patterson’s future professional conduct must be beyond reproach in every respect. . . .  Dr. Patterson also agreed to make a donation to a registered charity, acceptable to the College, in the amount of $7,000, representing the amount received by Dr. Patterson for the article he authored and published in Mother Jones magazine.  . . .

I would say that the BC College has paid appropriate attention to an " attention wh@@e* ".  It will be interesting to see how this affects his future scribblings.  Though it will be never revealed, I would be interested in whether there was a "formal" complaint (usually a formal complaint will only be accepted and acted upon by the college from a party with standing such as, in this case, the patient's family, DND, other physicians or the college itself) or if there was more than one letter of complaint from an interested member of the general public.

* this descriptive term was used by an old friend and former colleague when relating some of his experiences during his tour in Khandahar.  The doctor in question was there during part of his tour.

However, this action is not surprising:

Blackadder1916 said:
Not necessarily.  The conduct/actions of a physician are usually judged by his licensing body (College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia in Dr Patterson's case) in their totality and not always specific to activities that occur only in that jurisdiction.  Dr. Patterson gets to practice medicine (in parts of Canada and overseas with the CF) because the CPSBC says he is competent to do so.  Any action of his part (done anywhere) that brings into question his competency or ethical behaviour or may bring discredit to his profession could be subject to sanctions by his college.  (It was interesting to read some of the discpilinary actions taken against doctors by the CPSBC.)

DND may not have a good case to take legal action against Dr. Patterson because of the wording of his contract.  Based on experience, that does not surprise me in the least.  Additionally, it would be a PR nightmare.   But it does not rule out action by the CPSBC if the doctor's conduct is the subject of a complaint from DND or the patient's family.

3rd Herd said:
Further from the Globe and Mail:
. . .

"Medical ethicists and doctors say that Dr. Patterson may find himself under investigation for breaching his responsibilities as a physician by the B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons, which is responsible for his medical licence."
. . .
 

Gunner98

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What about the book - "Outside The Wire: The War In Afghanistan In The Words Of Its Participants" - surely his advances and royalties from the book will easily take care of his fines.  Surely the furor over the article helped in book sales?
 

schart28

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just stating a fact, the facts of my situation.... not only the MO but the ASurg BSurg and Case Manager have no sense of what the term consent mean. very sad..... The worst part is that it does not bother them to exchange medical/personal information without my consent. I certainly have lots of proofs, it can't be more clear then an email from the xSurg that says we are contacting your doctor even though I told them not without my consent. In the case of the case manager... it had to be VAC who did the investigation and it came out positive....

PMedMoe said:
Wow, you really have it in for someone, don't you?  Do you have any proof of this?
 

George Wallace

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schart28 said:
just stating a fact, the facts of my situation.... not only the MO but the ASurg BSurg and Case Manager have no sense of what the term consent mean. very sad..... The worst part is that it does not bother them to exchange medical/personal information without my consent. I certainly have lots of proofs, it can't be more clear then an email from the xSurg that says we are contacting your doctor even though I told them not without my consent. In the case of the case manager... it had to be VAC who did the investigation and it came out positive....

Now that tells me that you have no concept of what goes on.  How can the ASurg, BSurg, and Case Manager determine with any accuracy what your personal situation is, if they do not have all the information?  YOU are the cause for concern.  YOU are the one creating any delays in any decisions on your case.  YOU are at fault, not the people trying to consult and make the correct decisions.
 

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With respect to Dr Patterson, it is good to see that we have closure all round.  The MD has shown he is sorry for having grieved the family of the deceased - he has been fined & will undergo continual professional development on ethics... all is as it should be.

While I could probably weigh in on the other subject that has cropped up (schart28), might I suggest that this thread is not the place to kick that can around.  Might I suggest that we start a new thread & remove the last couple from this one.
 

The Bread Guy

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Frostnipped Elf said:
What about the book - "Outside The Wire: The War In Afghanistan In The Words Of Its Participants" - surely his advances and royalties from the book will easily take care of his fines.  Surely the furor over the article helped in book sales?

I think this could be countered by the fact that most proceedings of medical self-governing colleges like this one are NOWHERE as public and high-profile as this is, so I'm guessing he loses on the reputation side.  Anyone who can shed any light on how much this might affect a doc in his/her day-to-day work, I'd love to hear it.
 

Blackadder1916

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milnews.ca said:
I think this could be countered by the fact that most proceedings of medical self-governing colleges like this one are NOWHERE as public and high-profile as this is, so I'm guessing he loses on the reputation side.  Anyone who can shed any light on how much this might affect a doc in his/her day-to-day work, I'd love to hear it.

While (almost all) "proceedings" of medical colleges are conducted very quietly and usually involving only the parties to the complaint, the "outcome" of those proceeding are generally made public if resulting in disciplinary action against the physician.  Since most of these events are generally of significance to a local area, the publicity it generates is usually proportional.  But this one got particularly wide publicity, just as his actions that led to it did - 'punishment fitting the crime' comes to mind.  Sometimes it can make interesting reading, seeing what naughtiness some of these boys and girls with an MD after names get up to.

In the case of Dr Patterson, there is little (or no) restriction on his continued practice of medicine.  Not being familiar with his practice, it would be difficult to say whether any damage to his reputation will result in a related decrease in his "business" of medicine.  However, with the shortage of doctors in all jurisdictions, one would have to be a pretty bad physician to not be able to continue a reasonably lucrative practice.  And the college did not fault Dr. Patterson on his skills just that he does did not know when to keep his mouth shut.  I would say that most physicians do not like having a blackmark on their record.  Should there be future substantiated complaints against him (and it doesn't have to be for the same reason), having previous disciplinary action could potentially result in a significant restriction of his ability to practice (temporary or permanent).

Though the circumstances are completely different, if you look at the news release regarding disciplinary action from CPSBC that was issued the day following Dr Patterson's you can see that medical colleges are not hesitant to strike someone from their rolls if their conduct warrants it.
 
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