The American legal system is one of the primary things responsible for how great this country is. If you have been unfairly harmed or wronged, you can file a lawsuit and have your voice heard. Sadly, sometimes culpable people escape liability for the harm they have caused, and it seems that Ohio physician Dr. Atiq Durrani falls into this class.
Dr. Durrani practiced medicine in Ohio and Kentucky, where many of his patients suffered from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a disease that affects the connective tissues of the body. While some say he is an outstanding doctor who has been wrongly accused of unscrupulous acts, more than 160 former patients have lawsuits pending against him in court.
It’s troubling that more than 160 patients will not get to confront Dr. Durrani for his alleged medical negligence, because he somehow fled the country for his native Pakistan.
It’s an extremely bitter pill for wronged former patients to swallow, because the U.S. government had even initiated its own legal actions against Durrani, accusing him of performing unnecessary surgeries that he profited millions from at the expense of taxpayers and the federal government.
The doctor’s disappearance is both infuriating and baffling, as the U.S. government had revoked Durrani’s passport and a judge had ordered him not to leave Ohio or Kentucky. The disgraced physician managed to sneak into Mexico and then traveled to Brazil before flying back to Pakistan; he was so desperate that he even left behind his two children in Cincinnati.
Allegations against Dr. Durrani include:
- Making false diagnoses
- Performing or attempting unnecessary surgeries
- Falsely telling patients that their lives were in danger unless they underwent surgery
- Lying to colleagues and hospital executives to execute his scheme
- Lying to a patient about his physician’s license being revoked
- Leaving a foreign object in a patient during surgery and concealing it before setting up another operation under false pretenses to remove the object
Although the chances are slim to none, former patients and government prosecutors are hoping that Durrani returns to Ohio to face the charges against him. In addition to the pending medical malpractice lawsuits, the former physician is facing up to 125 years in prison.
Allegations Of Unnecessary Surgery Growing Frighteningly Common
While there is a large class of former patients accusing Durrani of performing unnecessary surgeries, he is not alone. It is becoming frighteningly common for doctors to face fraud accusations based on unnecessary operations. Some greedy physicians have used the vulnerability of their patients to inflate their bank accounts.
One common scheme is for physicians to make false representations to Medicare and Medicaid patients, telling them that a particular operation may be crucial to save their life. Of course, the patients agree to the surgery and are exposed to unnecessary risks that may end up causing serious harm.
How Can You Avoid Being A Victim Of Unnecessary Surgery?
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself from unnecessary surgery is to seek a second opinion before undergoing an operation. A reputable doctor will understand your desire to seek another opinion – and good physicians may even encourage you to do so.
Also, make sure you do your homework before putting too much faith in a physician. You may want to research the doctor’s background – even a simple Internet search may be helpful – to see if there are recent claims against him or her. A pattern of lawsuits or a checkered history of employers should raise red flags.
If you have already been the unfortunate victim of unnecessary surgery, remember that it is not your fault. You need to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to discuss your options for holding the doctor responsible and recovering money damages.