Sunday, August 02, 2009

My Run In With the Sleazy Dr M

When I first moved to Australia in 1988 I found it very difficult to breathe. I put it down to the house we were staying at. It was my husband's grandmother's house and the room we'd been staying in hadn't been dusted for years. After I washed it down I felt much better.

Then we found our own place. It had a lovely frangipani tree in the backyard. One day it started to bloom, and I was having trouble again. We didn't have a car so I ended up dragging myself to the nearest pharmacy.

When I got there they said they had something I could buy off the shelf that would give me relief but they refused to sell it to me- they said I should go see a doctor.

There was one just down the road so I went there. Luckily he could take me right away. He said I was having an asthma attack. By then I was so out of breath I couldn't even sit up- I was on the floor with tears in my eyes. As I lay there he leered at me and said, “OK look, just take all your clothes off and I'll be right back.”

I couldn't see why, so I didn't. I just lay there gasping. Finally he brought in a nebulizer and I was breathing through a mask. I started to feel better.

I asked him what kind of a practice this was- it didn't look like an ordinary doctor's office. He said he did operations there. Then he bragged that the local hospital sent him interns to train. From the way he was talking it sounded like they were all female.

While I was sitting there he got a phone call. He kept insisting that the person they were looking for wasn't him, it was his brother. It took him a while to convince the person on the other end of the line but finally they let him go. He said that was the police and he could have been arrested just then. I wondered for what....

Then a couple came into the surgery. They were in distress so the doctor saw them right away. I moved into the waiting room. Soon after the husband came out. After a long time he knocked on the door to find out what was happening. The doctor called out “I'm sorry, you'll have to wait.- I'm operating on her right now.”

The husband freaked out. He asked me if it was reasonable to think that he should have been told. I told him to get in there. Which he did. I didn't trust that doctor with any woman, let alone one that was under anesthesia.

Anyway, I never went there again. Good thing too. Years later he was in the papers. He was involved in numerous court cases and a Medical Tribunal was held to see if he should be disbarred for malpractice. Apparently he had sexual relationships with many of his patients and saw nothing wrong with that. If a patient was having marital troubles he'd suggest they have an affair and would offer to supply them with a lover. Again, he saw nothing wrong with that. In fact he saw nothing wrong with anything he did. He offered to launder some money for a husband to hide money from his wife and the Family Court. The doctor said his de facto wife could arrange it.

This de facto wife was a patient of his who he moved in with when he was 36 and she was 72. She was a frail woman with many health problems and he was her primary physician. She gave him over a million dollars of cash, property and benefits until her death.

How did she die? She was alone at home with him when she complained of severe chest pains. He gave her an injection of morphine and within 6 minutes she was dead. He didn't give her cardio pulmonary resuscitation and he didn't call for an ambulance until she was unconscious. Even then he hung up before they could answer. Conveniently it was he who signed the death certificate. No one else examined the body until 18 months later when the body was exhumed. This was done because relatives got suspicious when another lover/patient moved in with him the day after the funeral.

According to experts called at a medical tribunal, he gave the old lady a drug that would worsen her condition, and he gave her a dangerous amount of it. One expert said it's what you'd do if you wanted to euthanize someone. It turns out the lady in question did say she wanted euthanasia. The coroner ruled she probably died of natural causes, but he was concerned by the abnormally high levels of morphine in her body. When asked how this could have happened, DR. M said she had free access to an unlocked cupboard filled with Schedule 4 sedatives and Schedule 8 addictive drugs at his surgery. He couldn't say if she'd taken any of these because he didn't keep track of them. Of course!

After the funeral he told a friend he was dismayed as to how little of the estate was left to him in the will. A lawyer told him that if it was missing he could inherit everything as a de facto husband. Later, he told the courts that that she had destroyed the 1989 will and replaced with another one, but it was missing. The Supreme Court didn't believe him and ruled that he had either hidden hidden it or destroyed it himself. It was eventually decided he wouldn't be allowed to make a claim on the estate because of this. He was disbarred from medical practice in 2000.

According to a newspaper article in 2004 however, he believed that maybe he could practice as a doctor again. It sounds like he figured that he was disbarred because of the court's prejudice against May/December relationships. Bizarre!

Here's the newspaper article but if you really want to be shocked, you should read the Medical Tribunal Report . The Q and A's are especially revealing. You'd think they came straight out of an Agatha Christie novel.

After reading it I was horrified that I'd ever been in contact with him. That lady wasn't the only one he'd administered that much morphine to! He said he'd administered this to lots of people who had problems with restricted airways. Due to asthma, for instance. Nevermind that the morphine would make it harder to breathe! Scary stuff!


Anonymous said...

nice post. I would love to follow you on twitter.

Carmen said...


Thanks. Might look into it. Though most of my stuff would be kind of out there as I do have a lot of spiritual experiences. I know that wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea....