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Psychiatrist discharged me when I was on high Methadone dose and knew I wouldn't be able to find another Dr to prescribe this .

Valrico, FL |

My psychiatrist discharged me from his practice , b / c he claimed I was rude to his staff . Dr . exagerated claim and refused to hear my side . I do have mood / anger issues , but isn't that what Psychiatrists are for , to treat all emotional disorders ? . I was on 80 mgs of methadone for opiate addiction for 2 years . This Dr . . disch . me on may 2012 , I must have called 20 psychiatrists , addiction specialists and not one said they could prescribe methadone , only Suboxen . I went threw horrible withdrawal for months and now I am back to abusing opiates again and feeling unstable . He ruined my recovery , he played games with me , When I asked him for help weaning off Methadone fast , he gave me a bunch of numbers on a 2 post it . Sick man .

He gave me a math equation on a 2 x 2 post it. He would not talk to me. This is the same Dr that I posted a question about his questionable behavior, hugging me after each session, so tight I felt smashed against his chest. Also, telling me how "gorgeous" I look.

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

You can make a complaint to the Florida Board of Medicine here: http://doh.state.fl.us/mqa/enforcement/enforce_isu.html

Understand that physicians are not hostages and they retain the power and legal right to decline to serve in any specific doctor-patient relationship, with or without sound reason. Moreover, if your physician's treatment was consistent with the very extensive federal regulations and protocols re methadone treatment, then you will not succeed at causing a state investigation. In all events, it is unlikely that any claim of return to opiate use can be ascribed to your dr. through legal proceedings or claims.

You have tagged this post "wrongful termination" which is an employment law cause of action and has nothing at all to do with medical service providers' obligations, if any, to patients.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

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Posted

I, frankly, disagree with my colleague's response as it overly generalizes an otherwise correct recitation of the current state of the law with regard to termination of the doctor - patient relationship.

See my comment below for an analogy which you may find helpful.

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David Bradley Dohner

David Bradley Dohner

Posted

Sorry for the discontinuity there. Just finishing up a telephone call. In any event, while the Answer posted by my colleague from California is a generally correct statement and applies to the majority of situations in which a doctor has decided to "let a patient go", he or she may not do so without providing some means by which to provide transitional care for the patient if it is reasonably foreseeable that severing the relationship abruptly and without some means of providing continuity during the transition will result in harm to the patient which would otherwise be avoidable or simply avoided without qualification. The best analogy which I can offer would be as gross an exaggeration of the various parameters of the fact pattern as I believe is conceiveable, but imagine that a surgeon who you have sought out and finally decided upon, after interviewing many surgeons who are known for having expertise with the use of a given technique which your condition requires if you are to have a very high probability for a favorable outcome, was to decide midway throught the procedure that he or she was not as happy with the relationship as was formally true. That would be a situation in which a claim of abandonment would be extremely viable. While that may seem to be a terribly stupid means of making my point, the fact of the matter is that, as you know, all of the factors to which you pointed did, in fact, render "abandoning" you at the point at which your doctor chose to do so, very dangerous.

David Bradley Dohner

David Bradley Dohner

Posted

However, you did make reference to certain behavior which I understand to have been cited by your doctor as disruptive. That would clearly be a defense which he or she might potentially utilize.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

I respectfully disagree with the offered "analogy" and the accompanying analysis, with this technical statement: addiction medicine is different, very different. The asker knows that. In fact, federally-mandated protocols and constraints re methadone treatment will trump all of state considerations. If the physician who is permitted by DEA to dispense and use methadone in treatment violates any of the DEA and other fed agency protocols (and there are about 3 linear feet of them in hard copy), the physician will lose the permit to possess and dispense/administer methadone and can lose all DEA (prescribing) privileges. State-specific "obligations" to mitigate harm to the patient do not override these methadone-specific mandates and restraints for the physician, and do not create an affirmative obligation of the physician to violate federal regulations. The fact that addiction treatment (medical AND psychiatric) raises substantially different issues re the physician's obligations than other kinds of medical treatment is grounded in obvious considerations. There is substantial literature in both the law and medicine on this point. The analysis here is underscored by the fact that this asker refused the standard, medically-approved, not-as-highly-regulated-and-restricted alternative-to-methadone ("sub-oxen"). That fact alone will defeat any liability or license discipline to the physician complained of here. Note: I do not pretend to any expertise or experience in Florida law. I have extensive experience representing medical provider respondents in DEA actions re methadone. Methadone use is almost entirely a creature of federal enabling regulation and every physician in every state who uses it in treatment of opiate addiction does so under a federal DEA permit. The states can (and most have) enact additional legislative and administrative regulations, to the extent that such are not in conflict with the federal scheme, but no physician can use methadone in patient treatment with a state license but no DEA permit.

David Bradley Dohner

David Bradley Dohner

Posted

You seem to have unnecessarily assumed a "best defense is a good offense" approach to defending your Answer, which itself was unnecessary. I am sorry that you misapprehended my differing perspective and analysis of the scenario, which is lacking sufficient detail in so many respects that neither one of us could even attempt to opine with any appreciable level of confidence whether the physician's conduct was "reasonable for the communiy...blah, blah, blah.....". Truce? I will say this one thing, however....your Comment, through which you attempted to defend your Answer was completely stupid. LOL. Have a great day.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

Stunningly persuasive... and professional.

David Bradley Dohner

David Bradley Dohner

Posted

Ms. McCall: I had hoped that it was a rather obvious bit of teasing. Perhaps you do not need to really take yourself quite that seriously. Either way, try to have a good day.

Posted

The doctor has the right to discharge you as a patent just as you have the right to find another doctor.

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Posted

In this situation (and in most situations), the doctor has the right to terminate the relationship with you. Similarly, you have the right to find a different doctor.

This is a summary based on incomplete facts. You should not rely on it as legal advise. No attorney-client relationship is intended to be formed. You may call me 772-562-4570; email me vblawyer@bellsouth.net, or visit my website http://www.millerlawoffices.us

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Posted

I'm sorry to hear about this. Best bet is to discuss with Dohner above.

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David Bradley Dohner

David Bradley Dohner

Posted

I could not help but sophomorically note that I agreed with your answer. LOL. Christian, I fully intended to write an endorsement of you and your work product, which I believe that I certainly commenced authoring but, given the length of my typical answer, and then further considering that this is a detailed endorsement, so the multiplier would be like 4 or 5, I am guesstimating, I may have been staggered by a hand cramp, or dehydration. In any event, did I ever post it, or do I need to find out where I placed it and in what condition it currently exists, in order to actually send it along? Let me know if you would, please. Have a great day in Philly. Man, do I miss it some days. Best regards, Dave Dohner

Posted

You may wish to file a complaint against this Dr. with the state agency which overseas Dr licensing.

Legal Disclaimer:

If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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