Sham Peer Review- Doctors

Doctors Under Fire For Helping Patients

For years Lyme-treating physicians have been targeted by state medical boards, hospitals, health departments, insurers and others with an axe to grind.

We believe patients have the right to choose a doctor-recommended treatment protocol that serves them best. One size does not fit all.

The practice of sham peer review, as seen below, is sinful and destroys many patients hopes of receiving treatment and a doctors' life long ambition of healing the sick. Several Virginia Lyme-treating doctors have been targeted, charged and/or lost their license for following their oath to "First, do no harm."

Belle Haven Family Physician Suspended For Allegedly Overprescribing Painkillers

Posted on September 28, 2010. Filed under: Medical Malpractice | Tags: antibiotics, Belle Haven,death, doctors, Eastern Shore, health, injury, loss of life, lyme disease, MD, medical malpractice,medical negligence, opiates, opioids, painkillers, prescription drugs, Shapiro, treatment, VA |

By Richard N. Shapiro, Medical Malpractice and Dangerous Drugs Attorney

As many as 600 Virginia (VA) and Maryland (MD) being treated for the somewhat controversial condition dubbed chronic Lyme disease are poised to lose their primary caregiver. Members of the Virginia Board of Medicine voted on September 16, 2010, tosuspend the narcotic prescribing privileges of Belle Haven family physician Dr. Geoffrey Gubb. According to a report in the Virginian-Pilot, medical board members acted after determining that Gubb had overprescribed powerful painkillers and antibiotics for an infectious disease many members of the medical profession do not believe exists. Gubb, who is 73 years old, has decided to surrender his license altogether and shutter his practice rather than contest the suspension.

Not being a doctor, entomologist or epidemiologist, I can’t say that either Dr. Gubb or the medical board are correct in how or whether patients should be treated for the possible persistence of a tick-borne disease like Lyme disease. As a lawyer who has spent more than 20 years representing both patients and health care providers like doctors and nurses in medical malpractice cases, however, I find many aspects of Gubb’s and his patients’ situation interesting.

For instance, if patients have been receiving too many narcotic painkillers known as opiates and opioids, those people have been inappropriately put at risk for injuries or even loss of life from overdoses. Similarly, if patients had other treatable illnesses that got misdiagnosed as chronic Lyme disease, they may have suffered years of pain and disability they could have avoided. And, then, on the other hand, if Gubb has indeed been doing right by his patients, he and they may have grounds for lodging complaints against the medical board for unjustly denying access to needed health care.

Since the one of the key purposes of the medical malpractice civil justice system is to create economic penalties for incompetent doctors — and the magnitude of malpractice actions and verdicts can serve to weed out subpar physicians — such issues need to be considered. Likewise, when the Board of Medicine acts against a doctor it also has the effect of policing the medical ranks, but the board may sometimes act without full justification.

Whatever the reality may be, I hope all the patients Gubb treated find the care and relief they need.


About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a Virginia injury law firm handling Eastern Shore VA injury accident law and we have handled thousands of car and truck accident cases, including many on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Check out our case results. We are familiar with people who drive Route 13, including those from Accomack, Onancock, Chincoteauge, Wachapreague, Cape Charles, Bloxom, Eastville, Exmore, Greenbackville, Machipongo, Mappsville, Melfa, Nassawadox, Onley, Tangier, Temperanceville, Wachapreague and Wallops Island. We provide free injury case consultations, so call us toll free at 1-800-752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis were included among the “Best Lawyers in America” for 2010, and they and their fellow attorney John M. Cooper were named 2010 Virginia “Super Lawyers” for Personal Injury Law. Fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive this distinction. Our firm also includes attorneys selected by the National Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In addition, we were the first injury law firm in Virginia to join Primerus, a select group of highly ethical, respected law firms. We provide this blog as a pro bono public service.