Alliance for Patient Safety

                            All that is necessary for the triumph of evil...
                                                                ... is for good men to do nothing.

                                                                                                   Edmund Burke

Retaliation Against Physicians - Alan H. Galbreath, M.D.

Excerpt from email from Robert Weinmann, MD, past president Union of American Physicians and Dentists

While the MBC may make formal accusations against doctors, it seems that when they lose cases there should be provision to sue them when they fail to make their case since a wrongful accusation may reflect defamation.

In 1986 I published the case of Alan H. Galbreath, MD, Sacramento, retired.

The case against Galbreath was made by invoking B & P 726 and 2234 (b). In 1983 the doctor had his license suspended for seven years (later reversed, see below).

BMQA, as it was known at the time, made the case in part by introducing a critical affidavit that contained two sentences from the prosecution's chief witness that absolutely speared the doctor. The affidavit was prepared from a taped statement.

One problem: the investigator on the case stated that "these two sentences were absolutely not on the tape."

It was alleged by some at the time that once the affidavit was signed, the tape was destroyed since there was no longer need for it. This claim turned out to be false. The tape still exists.

The attorney for the petitioner declared that "the deception in BMQA's argument is incredible."

In due course, the doctor was "restored to all rights and privileges." An order was issued "vacating decision and dismissing accusation." This order was issued by Superior Court Judge Richard K. Park.

BMQA was obliged to reimburse Galbreath for court costs -- $1,983.20 -- my advice to the doctor at the time was that he spend it all in one place!

Galbreath got a letter telling him that BMQA was obliged to reimburse him for court costs but that the legislature did not allow reimbursement for attorney's fees.

Later the revised medical board began charging doctors for the cost of their own investigations! It appears that what was good for the goose was not good enough for the gander.

Aside from purging doctors' names and cases when accusations don't hold up, legislation should also be sought to allow reimbursement to doctors for attorneys fees in cases where the formal accusation fails.

These issues have become current again because of unequal application of whistleblower protection, use of sham peer review, notwithstanding passage of recent legislation.

Now here's my disclosure: the story mentioned above was published in my commercial newsletter, "The Nightletter," in December of 1986. This commercial publication was suspended circa 1989 when I became president of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (1989-2006).