Written by Theresa Sullivan Barger
After twice sending the case back to a review panel for further sanctions, the state Medical Examining Board Tuesday accepted a memorandum of decision that imposes probation on a Watertown doctor for making a false accusation against a patient’s father to state child protection authorities.
Under the consent order approved by the board, Dr. Mary Jane Brackett is required to complete a health department-approved medical ethics course and record-keeping course and pay a $1,000 fine. The board also placed Brackett’s medical license on probation for six months and required her to hire another doctor to monitor the records of at least five patients for three months, and to take a class with the state Department of Children and Families on mandatory reporting guidelines.
At the board’s June and September meetings, members argued that the proposed punishment was too lenient, twice sending the matter back to a review panel. Last month, despite members of the review panel saying an ethics course would not make a difference, the full board asked that a mandatory ethics course be added to the sanctions.
According to documents, the action against Brackett stemmed from her filing a complaint with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) about the conduct of a patient’s father during his 15-year-old daughter’s office visit. Brackett’s complaint alleged that during the girl’s examination, in January 2009, the teenager was completely naked in front of her father. Brackett told a DCF worked that a 15-year-old girl who could bare her breasts in front of her father was “a little like incestuous, or not healthy, like a sex slave or some perversion,” according to the public health department’s report.
DCF investigated the charges and concluded they were not substantiated. As a mandatory reporter, a doctor is required by state law to report suspected child abuse within 12 hours of its discovery.
The review panel further concluded that Brackett had erroneously reported on the patient’s medical record that she had performed breast and rectal exams. Brackett told the hearing panel that she did not perform these exams because of the father’s presence.
In other action Tuesday:
- The board ordered Rosa Roberts to cease her laser hair-removal business, saying such procedures must be done by a licensed medical professional. Roberts admitted to providing laser hair-removal at her Manchester facility from 2011 to May 2012, when an unannounced health department inspection of Alluring Beauty Spa found her performing a medical procedure without a medical license. She also has conducted laser hair-removal at a Manchester facility called Laser Spa, said Matthew Antonetti, principal attorney for DPH.
- The board reprimanded Dr. William Stephan III, who is licensed but not practicing medicine in Connecticut. The action follows violations of his New York State license related to his prescribing practices. The Connecticut order bans him from prescribing opiates or benzodiazepines to any patient for more than 90 days and requires him to get written approval, following consultation with a psychiatrist, before prescribing benzodiazepines. If Stephan practices in Connecticut, he will automatically be placed on three years’ probation with monitoring and oversight by a physician, under the order approved by the board.
- The board formalized its decision last month declaring colon irrigation a medical procedure, ruling that under state law, it falls within the scope of practice of a physician, and therefore cannot be performed by an unlicensed individual. The matter was brought to the attention of the medical board by Greenwich Health Director Caroline C. Baisley and Theresa Meade, environmental hygienist. Meade said Tuesday that she and her colleagues were “extremely happy” with the board’s decision because preventing an unlicensed person from performing the procedure would help to safeguard the public’s health.
“They’re doing something that is entering the body” without necessarily taking the person’s medical history and knowing whether the procedure is safe, she said. “We feel it’s important.”
This story was reported under a partnership with the Connecticut Health I-Team (www.c-hit.org).
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