Physician Suicide

Physician Suicide.

Physician Suicide 101:  Secrets, lies and solutions by Dr. Pamela Wible, M.D., is now featured on KevinMD.com.  Please read and comment!   We need to use this as a stepping stone to start discussing the Elephant in the room; state Physician Health Programs (PHPs) organized under the Federation of State Physician Health Programs.  These programs once served the dual purpose of helping sick doctors and protecting the public from harm.

Taken over by the “impaired physician” movement the current manifestation is one of absolute power and unrestrained managerial authority with no meaningful oversight, regulation or accountability.  It is a culture of institutional injustice that is preventing doctors from seeking help for fear of being ensnared and monitored by them.  Those being monitored by them are subject to bullying, abuse and forced 12-step indoctrination under threat of loss of licensure.  Many of these doctors do not even have an addiction or substance use disorder.   Situational factors, a “one-off” or even a false accusation can result in monitoring by these programs that encourage confidential referral for things such as being behind on medical charts.  Sham peer-review is rampant.32-640x472

Moreover, the authority bestowed on this group is both illegitimate and irrational. The mechanics and mentality of the Federation of State Physician Health Programs conforms to that of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Although there are some Addiction Psychiatrists involved, the vast majority are  “specialists” in “Addiction Medicine.

The ASAM is not even recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties as a bona fide specialty. It is a Self-Designated-Medical-Specialty; an AMA term used to keep track of what any group of doctors is calling themselves.

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Dr. Gregory H. Miday (1982-2012) A Doctor who would have made this world a better place.

In fact, American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABMS) “board certification” is little more than a diploma mill.

Yet these “specialists” are now in charge of ALL things related to PHYSICIAN HEALTH.

Many of the physicians running these programs had their licenses revoked and got them back by claiming salvation through the good graces of Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step methodology. Many have felony convictions. Some have double felonies.

At best we have unqualified zealots. But one major problem I have heard over and over again from physicians forced into these programs is an absolute lack of justice, empathy and even civility by those in charge.

A note from Dr. Karen Miday whose son Greg died by suicide after having a Corona in Peurto Rico while on vacation:

Dr. Gregory H. Miday ( 1982-2012) My physician son died of suicide 2 years ago while being monitored by the Missouri PHP. When he called to notify them of his relapse (while vacationing in Puerto Rico) and his intent to admit himself to a local public treatment center (decision made in consultation with his psychiatrist during an office visit that morning) the PHP said they did not approve of the plan. They told him to come speak with them instead. He chose otherwise. His phone calls to the PHP were the last ones he ever made. Clearly, he did not see them as benevolent. I sincerely doubt that he is their only casualty. Yet, where are the statistics? How many others have died under their watch. Strangely, the clinical director ( an RN, and likely recovering addict) told my husband that no internal review of my son’s case was planned. Such reviews after a suicide are mandatory at every public mental health facility I have practiced at. Our best and our brightest are being subjected to substandard care without any oversight or accountability. I can’t bring my son back. I do hope, however, that others will join me in an effort to pull the curtain back on these programs and perhaps save other lives. Karen Miday, MD, Cincinnati, OH

Misconduct, fraud, and even crimes are being reported.

Perhaps the 12-step salvation is just a ruse for some of them; a convenient cloak under which to hide all manner of abuse with impunity and immunity.

These individuals have been granted unrestrained managerial prerogative and absolute power over doctors. They decide not only who to monitor but how that monitoring proceeds in every last detail. Our fates, literally, lie in the hands of this group. No more physicians should die by this system of institutional injustice, bullying and pseudoscience. The conflicts-of-interest are abhorrent and would be incomprehensible in any other venue.

Isn’t it time we take charge? And the solution is fairly simple.

Oversight, regulation, and auditing by OUTSIDE groups. That is how it’s done everywhere else. Why do these guys get a pass?  Why would anyone be against procedural fairness and transparency in any situation? These are legitimate questions.

State Medical Societies, Departments of Public Health, the American Medical Association, the American Council on Graduate Medical Education, the Institute of Medicine and other Accreditation and Professional Organizations need to start addressing this.

This is a Public Health Emergency that is not going away.  It needs to be addressed directly and with urgency; not with kid gloves and temporization.

Accountability is without exception.  It requires both the provision of information and justification for actions.   Accountability also requires consequences for actions if they breach standards-of-care, ethics and the law.

 Hopefully this article will succeed in framing certain questions for the medical profession; questions that we all need to think about now before the door closes for good.

Physician Suicide 101: Secrets, Lies & Solutions by Pamela Wible, M.D.

Physician Suicide, the “Impaired Physician Movement” and ASAM:  The Dead Doctors at Ridgeview Institute under G. Douglas Talbott, by Michael Langan, M.D.

New Public Records Law revealing MA medical board counsel concealed criminal fraud for years; Major misrepresentations made by defense counsel to court. Falsehoods with no factual basis.

An attorney must have a factual basis for alluding to, offering or relying on evidence and that factual basis may not be wishful thinking. There are two requirements for a factual basis — an attorney’s subjective belief and objective evidence to support that belief. It has now been established that no objective evidence exists. Not a shred of it. Not a single chronologically consistent data-point!

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Disrupted Physician

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On June 3, 2016  Governor  Baker signed House Bill 4333 imposing greater accountability on state agencies  when responding to public records requests.  This includes shorter time frames to respond to requests (10-days for most), the provision of complete and legible records and appointing a Primary Records Access Officer to handle such requests.  The new Public Records Law also subjects agencies to sanctions for failure to comply.with the new law.
On  January 9, 2017  I submitted a Public Records Request  through the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) Website  for a dozen or so documents that had been submitted for board hearings but never directly addressed and containing textual content with evidence that was never weighed.   Moreover, many of the documents provided direct evidence of crimes (no other is evidence needed).
All of these documents were provided  to Board counsel Deb Stoller.
Today, Sunday March 12, is the beginning…

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The Regulatory Capture of American Medicine by the Drug and Alcohol Testing, Assessment and Treatment Industry

Oppression that is clearly inexorable and invincible does not give rise to revolt but to submission. Simone Weil

The AMA Code of Medical Ethics opinion 8.032 states:

“Physicians should disclose their investment interest to their patients when making a referral, provide a list of effective alternative facilities if they are available, inform their patients that they have free choice to obtain the medical services elsewhere, and assure their patients that they will not be treated differently if they do not choose the physician-owned facility.”

There are three ways a person can pay for health services: 1.) government Health Plans ; 2.) private health plans; and 3.) out-of-pocket

Government and private heal plans have regulations that are consistent with the AMA Code of Medical Ethics opinion 8.032 and the key concepts are: 1)  No taking money for referrals 2) Referrals should be based on medical necessity  3) Referrals should be based on the best providers.   Government regulations are the most restrictive. Stark Law and the Anti-kickback Statute provide very detailed “safe harbor” rules which must be followed.   Congress enacted a physician self-referral law in 1993 after learning the incidence of radiology procedures and physical therapy greatly increased when the patient’s physician had an ownership interest in the facility or clinic. This law is the result of legislation introduced by Representative Fortney (Pete) Stark (D-CA), then Chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee.  An earlier self-referral law (“Stark I”) had been enacted for clinical laboratory services only.  The self-referral law prohibits Medicare and Medicaid payments when a physician refers any of ten “designated health services” (DHS) to an entity where the physician has a financial relationship including clinical laboratory services and inpatient hospital services.    Physician Self-Referral Law [42 U.S.C. § 1395nn]    Anti-kickback regulations apply to anyone who “knowingly and willfully offers, pays, solicits, or receives remuneration in order to induce business reimbursed under the Medicare or Medicaid programs.”  Anti-Kickback Statute [42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b)] makes it a crime to pay for referrals in the Federal healthcare system. ( Section 1128B(b) of the Social Security Act ).  False Claims Act [31 U.S.C. § § 3729-3733] makes it illegal to submit claims for payment to Medicare or Medicaid that you know or should know are false or fraudulent.   Private health plans (including “self-funded” health plans) also have a restrictive set of rules and private-pay restrictions may mirror Stark Law or the Anti-kickback Statute, and will either be set forth in a provider agreement, or in a claims processing manual; compliance with which the physician may be asked to certify.   Patient out-of-pocket (where the patient is solely responsible and pays out of pocket for an ancillary service) have no meaningful restrictions and this opens the door for abuse.  The physician health program model is based on a simple coercive extortion scheme.  In a paradigmatic case of coercion—the mugger who demands “your money or your life” the victim is better off handing over the money than losing their life. Coercion characteristically involves threats by which the coercer proposes to make the victim worse off unless they do as the coercer demands.  In the 1990s some entrepreneurs within the “impaired physicians movement” discovered they could demand “your money or your medical license” and coerce doctors into paying for unneeded assessment and treatment that lasted three-times longer than normal folks and needed to be paid out-of-pocket.  With no regulation from government or private insurers they could do whatever they want and they did.

money1-richdoctorThe simple extortion scheme from the 1990s has now grown to around two dozen “PHP-approved” assessment and treatment centers and state boards require that only “PHP-approved” facilities be used and specifically excludes non “PHP-approved” facilities.   The preferred facilities engage in “diagnosis rigging” and false diagnoses to warrant unneeded treatment.  The labs are willing to  engage in laboratory misconduct and will create a falsely positive test at client request.    It is a closed incestuous system in which the  PHP serves as the Axis of Control and everything is kept not just close-to-the-cuff” but up the sleeve.  This has led to pathological opportunism and  promiscuous interaction between the PHPs-assessment center-lab conglomerate, regulators and medical boards and the legal profession which includes attorneys ostensibly representing doctors who will not bite the hand that feeds them-mostly carpetbagger board attorneys and former AAGs who hopped over to the more lucrative side  doctors who are actually carpetbaggers who hopped over to the other side after proving to the racket they had no scruples and the current pseudosymbiosis damages everyone but the psychopaths, bullies and clowns lining their pockets from the racket.

Source: The Regulatory Capture of American Medicine by the Drug and Alcohol Testing, Assessment and Treatment Industry

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Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit and the Birth of “Addiction Medicine” as a New Discipline: The Need for an in Utero Diagnostic Assessment Prior to Delivery

images-18One thing is for certain. When society gives power of diagnosis and treatment to individuals within a group schooled in just one uncompromising model of addiction with the majority attributing their very own sobriety to that model, they will exercise that power to diagnose and treat anyone and everyone according to that model.The birth of Addiction Medicine as an ABMS accepted discipline is sure to be a success for the LDT drug and alcohol testing and 12-step assessment and treatment industry, but its spawn is sure to be an inauspicious mark on the Profession and Guild of Medicine and a bane of society for years to come.

So much for the in utero diagnostic assessment–This teratoma has been birthed!

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The Second Coming
W.B. Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

 

Source: Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit and the Birth of “Addiction Medicine” as a New Discipline: The Need for an in Utero Diagnostic Assessment Prior to Delivery

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“Implicit faith belongs to fools, and truth is comprehended by examining principles”-Algernon Sidney (1683)

The validity and reliability of opinions lie in their underlying methodology and evidence base. Reliance on the personal authority of any expert or group of experts is the fallacy of appeal to authority and a more apt and accurate twitter caption to the photo above would be Algernon Sidney’s 1683 statement that:

“Implicit Faith belongs to Fools, and Truth is comprehended by examining Principles”

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Disrupted Physician

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The photo above was taken at the 104th Annual Meeting of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) held in San Diego April 28-30 and tweeted last night in reference to the partnership between the FSMB and the Federation of State Physician Health Programs (FSPHP) with the caption:

“How a healing profession heals itself #FSMB2016 partnerships #FSPHP trust and faith in oversight and system.”

Within the the allotted 140 character twitter limit this succinct observation is nevertheless very revelatory.   Both systems and the oversight of systems demand accountability and answerability to outside and independent agencies.  Trust and Faith are not in the equation.  Why has this lesson not been learned?

Answerability requires the obligation to answer questions regarding decisions and actions. Accountability requires transparency, explanation and justification. What was done and why?  Standards, rules, regulations, codes, laws and other objective benchmarks need to be applied by outside actors.  This is critical. It is the very essence of…

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Defending MA BORM Deb Stoller’s Five-Year Concealment of Fraud–Nothing Left but Logical Fallacy and Lies

imgres-6Bertram also claims PHS has not committed any crimes because they have not been charged with any crimes.  This is called denying the antecedent or inverse error.  It is a logical fallacy where the consequent is an indicative conditional  claimed to be false because the antecedent is false. ( A, then B; not A, therefore not B).    If it is raining, then the grass is wet.It is not raining.Therefore, the grass is not wet.The argument is invalid because there are other reasons for which the grass could be wet such as spaying it with a hose.   There are multiple reasons for which someone who committed a crime has not been charged with a crime.There is always a time-frame between the two and many who commit crimes never get caught.    Luck, stealth, cleverness, and multiple other variables might be involved.  Jimmy Savile molested and raped scores of children for decades and he was never caught.  As a major fundraiser for hospitals this fiend had free rein to prey on sick and helpless  little kids in hospital beds .

Source: Defending MA BORM Deb Stoller’s Five-Year Concealment of Fraud–Nothing Left but Logical Fallacy and Lies

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Concealing crimes at the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine: Why is this swamp not being drained?

Stoller was provided direct evidence of crimes over five years ago. It is precise, clear and repugnant. How many careers have been derailed since that time? How many innocent people have died by suicide since that time? As a state agent it is Stoller’s duty to report a crime when she sees a crime. A criminal investigation should have ensued. Overlooking corruption allows it to fester and spread and that is exactly what she did. She concealed it. This is top-down corruption also. Sanchez is past President of the Federation of State Physician Health Pr0grams (FSPHP) and his accomplice is the VP of Laboratory Operations at the drug testing lab-an unethical tone-at-the-top if there ever was one.

Disrupted Physician

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 Some day a real rain will come and wash all the scum off the streets- Robert De Niro

Massachusetts Public Records – House Bill 4333

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New Public Records Law revealing MA medical board counsel concealed criminal fraud for years; Major misrepresentations made by defense counsel to court. Falsehoods with no factual basis.

IMG_0933An attorney must have a factual basis for alluding to, offering or relying on evidence and that factual basis may not be wishful thinking.  There are two requirements for a factual basis — an attorney’s subjective belief and objective evidence to support that belief.

It is now established that no objective evidence exists.  Not a shred of evidence exists. Not a single date-point with  a reliable timestamp is chronologically consistent with these documents being before the board.


Source: New Public Records Law revealing MA medical board counsel concealed criminal fraud for years; Major misrepresentations made by defense counsel to court. Falsehoods with no factual basis.

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New Public Records Law revealing MA medical board counsel concealed criminal fraud for years; Major misrepresentations made by defense counsel to court. Falsehoods with no factual basis.

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On June 3, 2016  Governor  Baker signed House Bill 4333 imposing greater accountability on state agencies  when responding to public records requests.  This includes shorter time frames to respond to requests (10-days for most), the provision of complete and legible records and appointing a Primary Records Access Officer to handle such requests.  The new Public Records Law also subjects agencies to sanctions for failure to comply.with the new law.
On  January 9, 2017  I submitted a Public Records Request  through the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) Website  for a dozen or so documents that had been submitted for board hearings but never directly addressed and containing textual content with evidence that was never weighed.   Moreover, many of the documents provided direct evidence of crimes (no other is evidence needed).
All of these documents were provided  to Board counsel Deb Stoller.
Today, Sunday March 12, is the beginning of daylight savings time. It also marks the beginning of  Sunshine Week, a national celebration started in  Florida 15  years ago to promote open government, transparency and accountability.   Transparency is about shedding light.  Transparency can bring accountability, and, often, meaningful reform.
Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 3.29.35 PMIn response to a request for documents submitted for specific board hearings the board has not provided a single satisfactory response.   They have not been able to  provide a single document that is chronologically consistent with it being considered at the board  hearing for which it was submitted.   I had no expectations they would and this was the precise point of my record request.  These are documents that should exist but do not exist. The vault is empty.    None of the documents are in the records because they were suppressed on arrival and never got to the full board.  They never considered any of it.  The records do not exist.
Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 5.39.29 PM It has now been over two months and this shows how transparency is not just about shedding light on what is there but what is not there–transparency can also illuminate contrivances and lies.  If these documents existed then they would have provided them long ago and this is all coming to light as a result of Public Records Division staff enforcing new  Public Records Law and they should be applauded for their integrity, honesty and genuine concern.    In a culture of deference, impunity and apathy where giving allowances are the rule rather than the exception this agency deserves an A+ amidst a sea of D’s and F’s.
 
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The majority of documents provided have illegible or missing dates.   Undated documents have no value.   Analyzing any dataset requires  that  data-points be annotated with reliable timestamps that signify when the textual content was created and this is especially important with records that accumulate over time. Documents with message content passed on to others must be annotated with reliable timestamps that signify when the textual content was received and acknowledged by the receiver.
The  Board Records obtained June 2016  provided  pretty clear evidence that the documents were concealed .  The only documents with a decipherable date stamp included a  December 15, 2011 letter requesting an attached  “litigation packet” be provided to the board for consideration at a December 21, 2011 hearing,  The documents are all date stamped  January 17, 2012.  (nearly one month after the hearing).    AAG  Bertram dismissed the timestamp and claimed it did not reflect when it was entered into evidence but when it was scanned into the computerized records.  In truth they should be one and the same and if that is the case then where is the timestamp reflecting when it was  entered into evidence?    Bertram  claimed this occurs  after hearings not before.  It all defies common sense.
The January 9, 2017 request specifically requested a copy of the documents from the “administrative record” compiled for the December 21, 2011  hearing but in response they returned the same documents provided December 15, 2011 but date stamped January 17, 2012  –nearly a month after the hearing.

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The simple and straightforward request was made again and an appeal was filed requesting provision of the documents requested. Thankfully the  Public Records Division staff attorneys have not accepted  the logical fallacies and half-truths presented to deflect and dismiss a simple and straightforward request for documents. Supervisor of Records Rebecca Murray Ordered the  board provide a revised response and we obtained every document related to the December 2011 “litigation packet” that exists and all of the materials that Bertram claims were retrieved from storage.  All of it can be seen here:
It is a dataset with an N of 1. The only document retrieved from storage is the original December 15, 2011 letter requesting the “litigation packet” be submitted for consideration at the December 21, 2011 hearing and all of it is date-stamped  January 17, 2012 and this precludes the existence of any earlier copies.   No other copies exist!
 Take a look at the letter and all of the pages of the “litigation packet” as they are pristine.  No notations, initials, dates, scribbles or signatures.   So how were these documents “considered” at the December 21, 2011 board hearing?  At almost 50-pages did they all huddle around it or pass it around the room.
The simple fact is they were never considered by the board.  They were sitting in a drawer for a month (my guess under a bunch of moon pies and diet cokes) and then put in the system well after the hearing so no one would notice.
 In his cover letter RAO Dolan reiterates the ridiculous claim that  the date-stamp reflects when it was “bulk-scanned ” into the electronic archives and not when it was “presented to the board.”   What would be the purpose of putting timestamps on documents that have no meaning?   This is a bald faced lie and I want to call him on it.   Evidence presented for any hearing must be submitted and entered into the record before not after hearings. This is common sense but to put this to rest we can turn to the  2012  Manual for Conducting Administrative Adjudicatory Proceedings  which outlines how administrative proceedings are conducted  by professional boards.  It was also edited by AAG Quinan, the Managing Attorney of the Administrative Law, Government Bureau–the Department AAG Bertram is part of    The  “administrative record” is listed as one of the “basic principles” in chapter 1  and is second only to  “due process” M.G.L. c. 30A, § 11(8).    An administrative record must be compiled for every board hearing and indexed.   “The record is everything that is properly before the decision maker in rendering the decision.”
The manual makes it crystal clear that evidence must be compiled before hearings and anything not compiled before the hearing must be excluded!  Bertram also claimed that  “board staff”  reviewed its records and minutes and retrieved  from “off-site storage” the “materials”   that were before the Board in December 2011.”

1 The Board’s staff has reviewed its records and confirmed this to be the case.

2 To be sure, and to put this matter to rest for the Court once and for all, the Board has retrieved from off­site storage those materials before the Board in December 2011. The documents that Dr. Langan claims were “suppressed” are in fact there—and this should not be surprising given the Board’s many orders since that time, all of which have disclaimed any reliance on the July 2011 PEth test.

3 The Board’s staff has confirmed this by reviewing its minutes and confirmed this to be the case.


It has now been confirmed that the only “materials”  that exist are the documents themselves  and they are dated January 17, 2012 and this does not confirm but refutes Bertram’s claims.   In sum not a single data-point exists to support this document was before the board on December 21, 2011.   Moreover, the document provides direct evidence of crimes (no other evidence is needed).

I have requested that Bertram either provide documentation to support his footnoted claims or reveal to the court the misrepresentations.   As a government attorney he is obligated to reveal falsehood and perjury and I requested he do so.  But instead of revealing  no materials from off-site exist to support his claims he notified the court of his misrepresentation that by “offsite storage” he meant “basement”

He mentioned nothing about these major misrepresentations and dug his heels in deeper claiming that board staff did indeed   “retrieve and review those documents” and claims his “footnote representation remains uncompromised.”    His footnote representations no longer remain uncompromised.  At this point I’d say they are pretty compromised–the false contrivances are in actual fact shattered.

The off-point Bertram letter can be seen here:   ( Attachment B (6) )   “Uncompromised is a poor choice of words Mr. Bertram as “shattered” or “demolished” would be more appropriate.
Bertram claimed agency level investigation confirmed documents were before the board in December of 2011

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Reviewing Records and Minutes

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Retrieving Materials

The Reality

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These documents provide direct evidence of crimes (no other evidence is needed).

Bertram was also asked to address the “chain-of-custody error” misrepresentation.  The documents show intentional fraud.  This is no error.    The laboratory fraud seen here is similar to that of Annie Dookhan but the documents here show both of the parties involved; a state physician health program and one of the labs contracted by state physician health programs nationwide.   Precise and detailed documentation of forensic fraud was provided to a state attorney in 2011 but she concealed the documents. . I pointed this out to Bertram from the beginning and I also told him of all of the suicides that have occurred because of bogus tests just like this one.  He did not seem to care.   I notified him of another one here in Massachusetts;  a good doctor and a good person who was also subject to falsified testing and injustice involving the same actors.   I am hopeful that the transparency being provided here will lead to accountability.   Both of these attorneys need to be held accountable.

An attorney must have a factual basis for alluding to, offering or relying on evidence and that factual basis may not be wishful thinking.  There are two requirements for a factual basis — an attorney’s subjective belief and objective evidence to support that belief.

It is now established that no objective evidence exists.  Not a shred of evidence exists.

Not a single date-point with  a reliable timestamp is chronologically consistent with these documents being before the board.


Please donate to my Gofundme-  At this point I really need funding to mount a quick and effective response to these new developments.   Exposing these crooked attorneys would be a great step forward for all of PHP reform.  Please help me out.

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How Public Records Law can force transparency and hopefully bring accountability- Root out the rats!

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-1-30-53-pmAn attorney must have a factual basis for alluding to, offering, or relying on evidence at trial. That factual basis may not be wishful thinking. There are two requirements for a factual basis — an attorney’s subjective belief, and objective evidence to support that belief.

But none exist here   Not one  document, reference, record, or any other materials exist that are chronologically consistent with these documents being before the board in 2012.

The only document that exists is the litigation packet date-stamped a month after the hearing

I asked Bertram to either provide the factual basis or admit to the false statements.  He’s been ignoring me and will not answer.

The whole picture depicts the respondent as an attorney who, when it serves his advantage, is willing to violate clear norms of professional responsibility and to engage in purposeful deceit which harms others.“

The privilege of practicing law does not come without the concomitant responsibility of truth, candor, and honesty. Because no single transgression reflects more negatively on the legal profession than a lie, attorney misconduct involving dishonesty justifies disbarment.” Id. (quoting In re Young’s Case, 913 A.2d 727 (N.H. 2006)).

No matter what it takes I am going to make sure that is a certainty in this case

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Source: How Public Records Law can force transparency and hopefully bring accountability. Root out the rats!

How Public Records Law can force transparency and hopefully bring accountability. Root out the rats!

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This Sunday marks the beginning of  Sunshine Week, a national celebration started in  Florida 15  years ago to promote open government. Transparency is about shedding light.  Transparency brings accountability, and, often, meaningful reform.

On June 3, 2016 Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the first update to Massachusetts public records law since 1973.  House Bill 4333  imposes shorter time frames for agencies to respond to records requests.  Most agencies need to respond within 10-days but can be granted a 20-day extension provided they show good cause for it.  Those who believe a state agency  has violated its legal obligations can petition the Supervisor of Records and agencies are also subject to punitive damages for failure to comply with the requirements.

Massachusetts has historically ranked at the bottom of the barrel in terms of giving its citizens  access to public records.  A 2015 assessment by  a non-profit investigative news organization gave the state a grade of F and ranked it below Mississippi and Arkansas in the category of public records access (40th in the nation).

Under the new law documents previously provided with missing or illegible date-stamps were requested from the board.  The sole reason for this request was to  determine if it was submitted and entered into evidence for consideration at the hearing was supposed to and this requires  date-stamps.    The board has been able to  delay, withhold and censor documents as the laws have been toothless and they could get away with whatever they wanted by gaming the system.  Not anymore.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Public Records Division has been a breath of fresh air. Those I have interacted with have integrity and empathy as well as zeal.   Although limited in scope they can hold agencies to account by demanding the provision of complete, legible and accurate records and not backing down.

Pam Wilmot, executive director of Common Cause Massachusetts stated:

“As the cradle of liberty, Massachusetts should lead the way on openness and transparency, not lag behind the rest of the nation. The law Governor Baker just signed will help us catch up and begin to take our rightful place among those states that highly value and promote transparency.”


Document Submitted as Evidence for Hearings Date-Stamped  Long After

In response to a June 2016 request the board provided  just one with a legible date-stamp; a December 15, 2011 letter requesting  an attached “litigation packet”be   considered at an upcoming December 21, 2011 hearing .  The documents are all date-stamped January 17 2012 (nearly one month after ).. All of the other documents where  illegible or missing dates rendering it impossible to determine if and when they were entered into evidence  as required by law under  M.G.L. c. 30A§ 11(4) which states:

All evidence, including any records, investigation reports, and documents in the possession of the agency of which it desires to avail itself as evidence in making a decision, shall be offered and made a part of the record in the proceeding, and no other factual information or evidence shall be considered, except as provided in paragraph (5) of this section. Documentary evidence may be received in evidence in the form of copies or excerpts, or by incorporation by reference.

Board Defense counsel Bryan Bertram dismissed the date-stamp as irrelevant and claimed it did reflect when it was entered into evidence but when it was scanned into the  Document Imaging Unit (DIU) . He claimed this occurs  after hearings not before. See  logical fallacy and lies.  We filed a Motion to Produce Documents (SJC-2015-0267, # 44) with legible dates which Bertram opposed in his  Response to Motion to Produce Documents

Bertram claimed “board staff” had reviewed its records and minutes and retrieved  from “off-site storage” those “materials before the Board in December 2011.”  The documents I claimed were suppressed, he claims , “are in fact there.”  and provides footnotes:


1 The Board’s staff has reviewed its records and confirmed this to be the case.

2 To be sure, and to put this matter to rest for the Court once and for all, the Board has retrieved from off­site storage those materials before the Board in December 2011. The documents that Dr. Langan claims were “suppressed” are in fact there—and this should not be surprising given the Board’s many orders since that time, all of which have disclaimed any reliance on the July 2011 PEth test.

3 The Board’s staff has confirmed this by reviewing its minutes.

He claimed my request was :

“……nothing more than an attempt to impose upon the Board a duty–absent from any statute, regulation or rule to search for and produce documents to him that are outside of that record.  Dr. Langan’s  Motion tellingly directs this Court to no authority to support such a request. Because it is devoid any basis in the law, the Motion should be denied.”


As of January 1, 2o17 my request for  legible documents does have a basis in the law. Authority does now exist to support such a request.

I filed a Public Records Request under the new law on January 9, 2017.   I received a response from Board counsel Robert Harvey  ( January 20, 2017 documents provided by board).   Most are still illegible or missing dates.  The same document date-stamped nearly one -month after the hearing for which it was submitted was provided.   One other had legible dates.   A document written June 6, 2013  is stamped both electronically and by hand with dates sometime in 2012, before it was ever written.

And in response to an Order from the Supervisor of Records  I was  provided the very same document date-stamped January 17, 2012.   But it is not a copy but original as indicated by the “blue-ink.    This original document precludes the existence of any others date-stamped earlier than January 17, 2012.    This documents no earlier dated copies could have been submitted as evidence before the hearing. This document was never admitted into evidence and may not be relied upon by the board in its decision M.G.L. c. 30A, § 11(4).

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The records, minutes, and materials  reviewed and retrieved by “board staff” constitute public records. I requested them. I also requested the board “reports” that would have resulted from “board staff” confirming  it was before the board in 2012.

“ABA Model Rule 3.3, Candor Toward The Tribunal, declares that ‘a lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer.’ If a lawyer ‘has offered material evidence and the lawyer comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal.’

An attorney must have a factual basis for alluding to, offering, or relying on evidence at trial. That factual basis may not be wishful thinking. There are two requirements for a factual basis — an attorney’s subjective belief, and objective evidence to support that belief.

But none exist.  Not one  document, reference, record, or any other materials exist that are chronologically consistent with the documents being before the board in 2012. The only document that exists is the litigation packet date-stamped a month after the hearing.

I asked Bertram to either provide the factual basis or admit to the false statements.  He’s been ignoring me and will not answer.

The whole picture depicts the respondent as an attorney who, when it serves his advantage, is willing to violate clear norms of professional responsibility and to engage in purposeful deceit which harms others.

“The privilege of practicing law does not come without the concomitant responsibility of truth, candor, and honesty. Because no single transgression reflects more negatively on the legal profession than a lie, attorney misconduct involving dishonesty justifies disbarment.” Id. (quoting In re Young’s Case, 913 A.2d 727 (N.H. 2006)).

No matter what it takes I am going to make sure that is a certainty in this case.

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