.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


reports and thoughts on legal issues, music, Orthodox Christianity and/or whatever else strikes my interest

My Photo
Location: Houston, Texas, United States

My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Investigated Physician Surrenders Medical License

April 21, 2007, 8:16PM
Investigated physician surrenders medical license
Thousands of silicosis diagnoses are under question
Associated Press

HARLINGEN — A doctor who made thousands of questionable diagnoses of the lung disease silicosis has surrendered his Texas medical license amid an investigation by the Texas Medical Board.

Raymond A. Harron, 74, agreed last week to no longer practice medicine in Texas and not seek renewal or reissuance of the license he got 44 years ago. His Texas medical license expires May 31.

The board was investigating violations of the Medical Practice Act after federal court testimony in 2005 into thousands of silicosis diagnoses.

Judge Janis Graham Jack said she sensed "red flags of fraud" in the way he and other doctors diagnosed plaintiffs for lawsuits against mining and other companies.

Jack had been openly skeptical about the way lawyers recruit clients with billboards and TV ads telling people they could get compensation if they showed signs of silicosis, a degenerative lung disease caused by inhaling quartz dust.

After an Alabama doctor withdrew about 3,700 diagnoses during a hearing, Jack ordered doctors and screening companies in hundreds of cases to back up their diagnoses. Several more doctors also withdrew their diagnoses.

Harron testified to making positive diagnoses off X-rays that were taken by a screening company using mobile machines in parking lots. There were no doctors supervising the X-rays. Owners of the screening company said they were working for lawyers.

Harron said he did not physically examine any of the patients. He said his secretaries interpreted his X-ray readings into diagnoses letters that were rubber-stamped with his signature and mailed without his final read.

He also testified to making silicosis diagnoses in the same patients he had once diagnosed with asbestosis. Defense experts in workplace respiratory diseases said it is extremely rare for a person to have both diseases.

Harron also holds medical licenses in West Virginia, New York, North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, Mississippi, California and Hawaii.

Jill Wiggins, spokeswoman for the Texas Medical Board, said all the states would be notified of the disciplinary action in Texas.

"This could very well affect his license in other states," she said.



Post a Comment

<< Home