Cellphones and text messaging have become rather ubiquitous things in today's society. Given this, it is not too surprising that allegations sometimes arise that a person texted at a time or in a manner that they shouldn't have. Texting while driving is probably the best-known type of such allegations, but it certainly isn't the only type. Another field allegations of improper texting can sometimes come up in is the medical field. Recently, a physician in another state has had allegations of texting misconduct leveled against him.
The physician is an anesthesiologist and he is from Washington state. That state's health department has accused the doctor of exchanging hundreds of text messages that contained sexual innuendo during surgeries. According to the health department, some of the types of procedures the sexting occurred during are: cardiac-probe insertions, tubal ligations, Cesarean deliveries, epidurals and pediatric appendectomies.
The doctor has also been accused of other misconduct, including: having sexual encounters at work, viewing private medical records for sexual reasons, sending explicit pictures to a patient and giving out unauthorized prescriptions.
Washington's health department has claimed that the doctor's alleged conduct endangered patient safety. The agency has suspended the doctor's medical license in relation to the allegations. One wonders if the doctor will challenge the allegations and the suspension.
It seems likely that, as cellphone and texting technology continues to grown in use, popularity and capability, allegations regarding misconduct involving such technology could become a more and more common thing to see in disciplinary hearings in the medical profession throughout the country, including here in Philadelphia. If a medical professional has been accused of some sort of misconduct involving cellphones or texting and is concerned that the accusations could endanger their medical license, they should consider having a discussion with a license defense attorney about what disciplinary measures they could face and what options they have.
Source: The Washington Post, "This might be a first: A Seattle doctor is suspended for sexting during surgery," Lindsey Bever, June 10, 2014