Most of us in Reading know that drugs and excessive amounts of alcohol are bad for us. Most of us would assume that our doctors know this, too. And they most likely do, but that doesn't mean that there is not a serious problem with drug- and alcohol-addiction in health care. Not only does this mean that physicians are risking their own health due to substance abuse, but they are also risking their patients' health and safety by treating them while high.
There is a reason why drunk driving is illegal -- it is dangerous. So, just imagine how dangerous surgery would be while intoxicated. To say there is a risk of medical errors is a serious understatement. Sadly, it is a reality with which many patients are living.
The estimate is one in 10. One in 10 working doctors have a drug or alcohol addiction. Of course, some of them know not to come to work while intoxicated, but many others are treating patients and even performing surgeries on patients while high or drunk.
One man went to his doctor for what he was told would be a simple back surgery. Instead of taking a short time to recover and then being better than before, the man was left partially paralyzed after he says his surgeon was stoned during the operation. He also says that his surgeon removed a portion of his spinal cord. The surgeon has denied any wrongdoing, but many people have come forward to say that they have also been seriously injured by the surgeon.
There has yet to be any verdicts in the lawsuits to which the surgeon is party.
Source: NBC TODAY, "Is your doctor stoned? Physicians with substance abuse problems continue to work," Jeff Rossen and Charlie McLravy, June 16, 2014