For a loved one nearing the end of life, comfort is a top concern and one wife wanted everything done to make sure that happened for her husband last year. Now a doctor in Hurricane is facing a suspension because of what he did to help.
The Board of Medicine claims his action might have sped up that patient's death. The board says he violated medical ethics.
Last year the West Virginia Board of Medicine began investigating a doctor from Hurricane. According to the board's documents, Dr. Sean DiCristofaro was accused of giving a patient who was near death medicine that might have contributed to ending his life at CAMC Teays Valley.
Records show Dr. DiCristofaro says he gave his patient some medication to ease pain. He told the board he didn't intend to speed up the patient's death, but the board still suspended Dr. DiCristofaro for six months because of it.
The board says the drug wasn't an acceptable pain reliever. Board officials won't talk specifics about this case on camera, but say disciplinary actions are rare. They say about 40 doctors each year face some sort of disciplinary action.
“By in large 99 percent of the physicians are very good physicians. Like any profession, you will have a few folks to stray from misconduct or for standard of care,” WV Board of Medicine’s Robert Knittle said.
Any misconduct is public record. It can be found on the Board of Medicine's website.
“I think the public has to right to know information about physicians and to be able to select a physician they feel most comfortable with and deal with the issues they may have medically,” Knittle said.
DiCristofaro's suspension will last six months and it will start this Friday. A CAMC spokesperson says Dr. DiCristofaro is no longer allowed to practice medicine at CAMC Teays Valley Hospital.
We tried to contact Dr. DiCristofaro and were directed to his lawyer. Our calls to his lawyer have not been returned yet.
You can read the Board of Medicine's ruling against Dr. DiCristofaro by clicking on the link below.