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Surgeon Nicknamed “Dr. Death” Found Guilty of Intentionally Maiming Patient
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Summary: Dr. Christopher Dunstch was convicted of maiming an elderly patient during surgery.

In Texas, he was known as “Dr. Death.” A surgeon with almost 17 years of training and experience, Christopher Duntsch should have been someone that patients could trust. Instead, prosecutors say he intentionally maimed and killed people while they were under the knife; and he has finally been brought to justice.

  
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Christopher-Duntsch

Dr. Christopher Duntsch.

According to the Washington Post, police accused Duntsch of killing two patients and crippling four through July 2012 to June 2013. However, he may have had many more victims, including Kellie Martin who died of a massive blood loss during a procedure and Jerry Summers who woke up from surgery only to find his limbs paralyzed. These tragedies flew under the radar and were settled out of court, deemed accidents or random mistakes. It was only until 2013 when Duntsch’s license was finally suspended.

In July of 2015, Duntsch was arrested for aggravated assault charges, but prosecutors decided to build their case around one of his patient’s Mary Efurd, who he had crippled during surgery.

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Efurd, 74, went to Dallas Medical Center to have Duntsch fuse two of her vertebrae. When she woke from surgery, she was shocked to learn she couldn’t stand. Days later, another surgeon, Robert Henderson, opened her up only to discover grave issues caused by Duntsch. For one, Dr. Death had apparently left hardware in her soft tissue. Secondly, he had severed one of her nerves. Another nerve had a screw in it, and there were multiple screw holes on her spine where they weren’t supposed to be. This was not careless mistakes but intentional harm, authorities said.

Despite Henderson’s best efforts, Efurd is now permanently crippled. She told reporters that she is now dependent on others for transportation, meals, and other everyday acts that she was once capable of doing.



On Tuesday, a Dallas County jury convicted Dr. Death of aggravated assault for deliberately injuring Efurd. He faces life in prison, and former Dallas County prosecutor Toby Shook said that it was unprecedented for a physician to be convicted of aggravated assault for acts committed during surgery.

Duntsch’s attorney said that he was not intending to maim, but instead lacked skills, according to The New York Post.

“The problem was that he was not a trained surgeon. He was not a skilled surgeon,” defense attorney Robbie McClung said. “He was, according to his peers, at the level of a first-year resident, but he was on his own and doing the best he could.”

Source: Washington Post

What do you think of Dr. Death? Let us know in the comments below. 



 

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