Las Vegas Sun

November 26, 2014

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State board reprimands doctors, including one who’d had sex with patient

A doctor who had a longtime sexual relationship with his patient has been disciplined by the state Board of Medical Examiners for bringing "disrepute" to the profession.

And the board issued a public reprimand to a physician who advertised Botox injections that are said to remove wrinkles and lines in the face. He actually used another drug from an online pharmacy and one based in Canada.

Those were two of the cases the board agreed on Saturday to settle with doctors accused of infractions.

The board issued a public reprimand to Dr. Edwin G. Starr, who was accused of starting a sexual relationship with a female patient in 2002 that ended in 2009. The woman later filed a civil suit against Starr for malpractice, but a settlement was reached.

The complaint against Starr said he failed to inform the board of the civil suit and added the sexual relationship with a patient is a violation of the law.

Besides the reprimand, Starr was fined $1,000; ordered to perform 40 hours of community service and required to attend 10 hours of classes on medical ethics. Under the settlement he agreed to reimburse the board $1,220 to cover the cost of its investigation.

In another settlement, the board said Dr. Samuel Beck advertised Botox injections, mostly sought by women at his Allure Med Spa in Reno. In reality he was injecting a compound called "Dysport" purchased on the Internet and a Canadian pharmacy not licensed in Nevada.

The board dismissed the counts in the complaint that accused Beck of false advertising by having a large sign on the front window of his business saying Botox injections were available and brochures in his office touting Botox.

But he was penalized for using a drug from unlicensed sources in Canada. In addition to the public reprimand, he was ordered to attend 12 hours of classes on medical ethics and reimburse the board $1,337 for the cost of its investigation.

The board also issued a public reprimand and a fine of $500 to Dr. Mulugeta D. Kassahun of Las Vegas for performing an operation on the wrong testicle. The doctor agreed with the patient to remove a cyst on the left testicle. But the doctor, in a procedure in his office, performed a vasectomy on the right side.

The following day in October 2008 the damage was repaired and the correct surgery was performed, said the complaint of the medical examiners board.

In addition to the reprimand and fine, Kassahun must attend 12 hours of education on medical systems of errors and procedures. And he is ordered to repay the board $1,476 to cover the cost of the investigation.

The board also settled a long-standing complaint against Dr. Kevin Buckwalter who agreed to a public reprimand and to reimburse the board $100,000 for its investigation and its defense in a federal civil suit against it.

Buckwalter of Las Vegas was accused in a 2008 complaint of prescribing large amounts of controlled substances to patients without keeping adequate records. The settlement says only that he failed to maintain accurate and complete medical records.

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