Sunday, February 18, 2007

Butchers in Our Midst - Be Afraid, Be VERY Afraid!

I was recently reminded of the the outrageous actions of one Dr. Chae Hyun Moon. Dr. Moon was the former Director of Cardiology at Redding Medical Center where he was the subject of an FBI investigation in 2002 for performing hundreds of unnecessary heart procedures including open heart bypass surgery. Redding is owned by what once was the second largest for profit hospital chain, Tenet Healthcare Corporation.

Moon often lied to patients after routine tests telling them that they needed immediate surgery or face a quick and certain death. Had it not been for one lucky priest who was intercepted on his way to heart surgery by an honest doctor that read his charts, Moon might still be practicing today. Moon once bragged he did 1900 procedures in ONE YEAR! Do the math, that's over 5 per day! It is no wonder that among the less serious charges against him were failure to provide adequate post-surgical care and patient medical records.

The most chilling aspect of this case is that Moon's butchery dated back well over a decade. Local doctors were afraid to fight this respected "quack" and the profit-driven monster behind Tenet Healthcare. A rival hospital finally required that all their patients sent to Moon must be monitored by their own Cath Lab Director in 1996. They knew what was going on and opted to cover their own asses while allowing Moon to continue to malpractice on other hospital's patients! Unbelieveably, these restrictions were eased after Moon sued the hospital - and I kid you not - for restraint of trade!!! The Medical Board of California did not get around to suspending Moon for nine months after the FBI raid on Redding Medical Center.

In the end, Moon faced no criminal prosecutions and finally had to give up practicing only because he was unable to secure medical malpractice insurance. It is a sad day when our last and only line of defense is the INSURANCE COMPANIES! If you or I started cutting into people for no good reason we would be labeled perverts, sadists, even murderers and would would be spending our retirement behind bars. Can I possibly impress upon everyone how imperative it is to take responsibility for your own health and to seek multiple opinions?

Maddeningly, this "healthcare holocaust" was no wake-up call to the field of interventional cardiology. When did a medical degree become a license to destroy lives for profit? Even as I write this blog there are young cardiologists out there exclaiming, "I have to find a way to do more procedures!" That, my friends, is an actual quote and it makes my skin crawl. BEWARE: The butchers are still lurking. Don't be led like a sheep to slaughter. You need not be the next victim.

Sleep well (if you can),



Anonymous said...

Take it from me, Tenet and their docs are the "White Smocked Mafia". As you say, "Be afraid, very afraid"

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