Physicians are meant to be individuals that we can trust in some of the most frightening circumstances. They are able to provide care and treatment after serious accidents or in the event of a major illness. We respect these professionals because of their years of experience, extensive knowledge, and dedication to their patient’s well-being. Most medical professionals are deserving of this trust and respect and they perform their job, with the best of their ability. Nevertheless, some take advantage of this status and use their position of medical power for their own benefit. This form of medical malpractice is particularly despicable as it involves doctor’s preying on their own patients, who are looking for trusted advice and assistance. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon experience as the San Diego Reader reports on two such instances that have occurred in 2017.
Both a San Diego doctor and an Oceanside doctor are facing serious consequences after engaging in medical malpractice. In March of 2017, Dr. Naga Raja Thota surrendered his medical license after it was uncovered that he was distributing highly addictive opioid medications, such as oxycodone, to patients in exchange for sexual favors. Working for the El Cajon Pain Management Center, he had access to these drugs in high doses and his prescriptions went unnoticed, among the many others at the center. Several women came forward indicating that they were the victim of his sexual advances, and feared he would stop prescribing their medication if they did not agree. One woman even indicated that Dr. Thota prescribed her increasing doses of pain medication and claimed it would help decrease her pain. However, this patient did not suffer from any medical condition that would cause severe pain, and this constant supply of opioid medication eventually led her to a heroin addiction. In an earlier case of medical malpractice, Oceanside Dr. Glen Mark Balfour was also accused of prescribing patients excessive amounts of opioid painkillers. Dr. Balfour is facing a four-year probation for his actions, while Dr. Thota has been sentenced to 30 months in prison.
In both of these cases, doctors helped provide their patients with a dangerous and addictive substance for their own gain. No matter whether these patients actively asked for opioids or were led to believe they needed them, they are the victims of a devastating medical practice, which encouraged or led to addiction. These doctors went against everything that the medical community believes in and strives for, and it is important that they are punished for their actions.
The victims of these doctors’ actions must now face the physical and financial costs of managing an opioid addiction. This is a long and difficult addiction to battle, and it will likely require significant medical treatment and rehabilitation to overcome. However, these women may seek compensation for the damage these doctors have caused with the help of a medical malpractice attorney. Although this will not undo the harm these doctors caused, it can help these individuals remain financially stable while they are recovering.Read More