Telemalpractice: The Verdict

Many of you may remember the January Doc Gurley piece about a doctor in Colorado who prescribed Prozac over the

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internet to a suicidal 19-year-old Stanford student without ever seeing, talking to, or examining him. The student later committed suicide and autopsy results showed Prozac and alcohol in his blood.

Neither the doctor nor the companies who profited from this arrangement were charged with anything other than one trial (for the doctor alone) of practicing medicine in the state of California without a California license.

So what finally happened?

The jury is in. The verdict? Nine months in jail for practicing medicine without a license. No work programs or home restrictions – straight jail time. The defense stated that the outcome would have a chilling effect on this kind of telemedicine. Let’s just hope so.

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