State of Utah disciplines nurses stealing drugs, child psychiatrist watching child porn

The State of Utah disciplined about two dozen medical professionals last month, including nurses caught stealing drugs. (Photo: KUTV FILE)

(KUTV) — The state of Utah disciplined about two dozen medical professionals last month, including nurses caught stealing drugs.

One registered nurse submitted 30 fake prescriptions for oxycodone, using the names of elderly patients, according to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing of the Utah Department of Commerce. The nurse told investigators he was addicted to the painkiller. Several other RNs also stole drugs from their employers or patients.

George Tait, medical malpractice lawyer and former RN, spoke of the danger.

“They can be negligent, of course, if they don’t have full functional capacity of their faculties,” Tait said. He added:

"Make mistakes, you know, you take the wrong drug and inject it in the wrong place, or you give it by the wrong root or whatever it is can have serious consequences for the patient."

The October report from DOPL listed two doctors, one dentist and about 20 nurses facing discipline. Some had changes to their probation or had their licenses reinstated. Others were fined or put on probation. (The agency declined to comment for this story.)

Click here to look up your doctor to check for any disciplinary action.

Dr. Ronald Baird of Provo now has full privileges again after the State found in 2010 that he had “at least five inappropriate sexual relationships with patients and coworkers.” He didn’t respond to a request for comment.

David Ford Wilson of Morgan, who once worked as a child psychiatrist, is on probation and restricted from treating children after DOPL said in 2013, he watched child porn at work. The criminal case was later dismissed, although he is still facing disciplinary action, as DOPL said he admitted to viewing “preteen modeling sites.”

Dental anesthesiologist David Gutzman of Draper is off probation as of mid-September. DOPL said one of his patients choked on gauze and died in 2014. He did not respond to several requests for comment.

DOPL can require supervision, which it did in Baird’s case. The agency can also require drug testing, restrict hours or implement other probationary measures.

Tait said doctors, dentists and nurses are allowed to practice again in most cases of negligence.

“Does that mean that that individual should ever be barred from practicing again? And the answer to that is probably not, right?” Tait said. “There’s a lot of people that drive cars, lots of people that make a wrong left turn. That’s negligence, and yet they keep their driver’s license, they can continue to drive.”

Anyone can look up a physician to make sure he or she is licensed through DOPL’s lookup and verification system. Also listed will be any disciplinary action taken in the past 10 years.


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