2 doc­tors say Gosy’s pain med­i­ca­tions led to six deaths

The Buffalo News - - LOCAL NEWS - By Phil Fair­banks

Cit­ing in­de­pen­dent re­views by two doc­tors, fed­eral prose­cu­tors asked a judge Tues­day to stop Dr. Eu­gene Gosy from prac­tic­ing medicine.

The judge de­nied their mo­tion.

In mak­ing their re­quest, prose­cu­tors pointed to the doc­tors’ eval­u­a­tions of Gosy’s files and their con­clu­sion that his pain med­i­ca­tion pre­scrip­tions con­trib­uted to the deaths of six pa­tients.

Gosy, charged in a new fed­eral in­dict­ment link­ing him to the six deaths, was ar­raigned on those charges Tues­day and pleaded not guilty. He is the first lo­cal doc­tor to be charged with such a crime.

The new 166-count in­dict­ment against Gosy iden­ti­fies dozens of lapses in med­i­cal judge­ment, enough to ques­tion his right to con­tinue prac­tic­ing medicine, As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney Maura K. O’Don­nell said.

“At least six of those lapses in judg­ment re­sulted in the deaths of pa­tients,” she told U.S. Mag­is­trate Judge H. Ken­neth Schroeder Jr.

Schroeder, con­cerned about Gosy’s abil­ity to make a liv­ing and pay for his le­gal de­fense, de­nied the gov­ern­ment’s mo­tion for a change in bail.

He also said the cur­rent ar­range­ment that al­lows Gosy to see pa­tients but rely on other doc­tors to pre­scribe med­i­ca­tions is work­ing.

When asked about the two new doc­tors and their eval­u­a­tions of Gosy’s pa­tients, his de­fense lawyer dis­missed their opin­ions.

“They prac­tice what I call first-de­gree hind­sight,” de­fense at­tor­ney Joel L. Daniels said. “They look at these cases and say, yea, you could have done this, you could have done that.”

The gov­ern­ment-hired ex­perts are Dr. Theodore Par­ran, a fac­ulty mem­ber at Case Western Re­serve School of Medicine, and Dr. Stacey Hail, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of emer­gency medicine and med­i­cal tox­i­col­ogy at the Univer­sity at Texas South­west­ern Med­i­cal Cen­ter.

The charges claim Gosy, when faced with warn­ing signs of abuse or ad­dic­tion in his pa­tients, ig­nored those signs and in­stead pre­scribed more drugs.

Prose­cu­tors said fam­ily mem­bers of some of Gosy’s pa­tients went to him and asked for help in deal­ing with their fam­ily mem­ber’s ad­dic­tion, and the doc­tor turned a blind eye.

Daniels ac­knowl­edged the vic­tims were his client’s pa­tients, but said their drug abuse can­not be blamed on the doc­tor who was try­ing to help them.

Known across New York, Gosy had one of the largest pain med­i­ca­tion prac­tices in the state when he was ar­rested last year.

The in­dict­ment re­places the ear­lier charges. Over a 10-year pe­riod end­ing last year, he is ac­cused of pre­scrib­ing fen­tanyl, oxy­codone, mor­phine and other pain med­i­ca­tions to pa­tients who were abus­ing the drugs.

He also is charged with de­fraud­ing the state work­ers com­pen­sa­tion sys­tem by sub­mit­ting pa­tient claims for of­fice vis­its when he was ac­tu­ally out­side the Buf­falo area.

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