Friday, December 14, 2012

Pain Doc Loses Her License

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 4:32 PM


Effective at 5 p.m. today, former Eureka doctor Fran Day will not be allowed to practice medicine in the state of California.

The doctor's license already had been suspended for more than two years. Today the Medical Board of California officially revoked it, after Day, who specialized in pain treatment and psychiatry and practiced medicine since 1989, failed to respond or file a Notice of Defense to accusations filed with the medical board against her by several patients in October 2010.

Day's accusers said she "engaged in repeated acts of unprofessional conduct" and gross negligence, including prescribing lithium to a patient who had tried to commit suicide with a lithium overdose two weeks before; prescribing controlled substances to addicts; prescribing drugs without first conducting an examination and checking with the patients' other doctors and consulting medical records; and prescribing "excessive doses of controlled substances." Day also was accused of being "grossly negligent in her management" of a patient who had an overdose.

That latter patient, called "E.C." in the medical board's documents, also complained to the Humboldt County District Attorney's office, and the D.A. filed charges in April 2011 accusing Day of prescribing controlled substances to five patients, including E.C., known to be addicts; self-prescribing a controlled substance; and delaying or obstructing an emergency medical technician. (The Journal reported on this alleged incident back in March 2010, after Day had disappeared and taken with her all of her patients' medical records. The mother of the patient claimed Day clung to the ambulance as it tried to drive away. Day told us her side of the story in July 2010.)

In September 2011, Day pled no contest to four counts of felony prescribing to an addict. She was sentenced to four years probation, 90 days in custody and 500 community service hours. She also was ordered not to practice medicine.

The license-revoking decision issued by the medical board says that because Day has not appealed the court decision within the time allowed, the order that she not practice medicine is upheld.

You can read the entire decision by the medical board, including opinions from a medical expert on the various drugs Day prescribed for patients with conditions including bi-polar disorder, on the board's website.



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Heidi Walters

Heidi Walters worked as a staff writer at the North Coast Journal from 2005 to 2015.

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