Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My email to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan

What follows is a copy of the email I sent on this date to the Office of the Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan:

"I was a patient of orthopedic surgeon Chris Dangles, M.D. (Carle Clinic Association in Urbana, IL). Please do not simply dismiss me as just a disgruntled patient who underwent 3 unnecessary surgeries by Dr. Dangles and whose life was forever damaged by Dr. Dangles horrible misjudgment. I am trying to make sure that other people in Illinois are properly protected as patients.

In my situation, Dr. Dangles actually testified under oath that he does not know why I wanted the surgery. That statement begs the question that at least one of the surgeries were completely unnecessary if not negligent to perform. Dr. Dangles also testified that he did not know why I fell so often after the bilateral ankle surgeries. Chris Dangles testified that he suspected I had an alcohol problem or that the pain meds interfered with the meds I took for depression. I don't drink alcohol. But yes, I was depressed during the treatment by Dr. Dangles.

I was an HMO patient at Carle (Health Alliance Medical Plans) and so I could not get a second opinion after Dr. Dangles told me he did not know what was wrong and he did not know what to do. I had to actually change my insurance coverage to obtain a second opinion. The difficulty in obtaining a second opinion when a Carle doctor is stumped is that the doctors at Carle are owners of Health Alliance.

My depression and inability to walk got so bad that I had difficulty tending to my legal clients (I had an active IL law license). I literally could not get to hearings because I could not walk. I could not meet with clients. The IARDC disciplined me and suspended my law license. I am perfectly fine in terms of fitness to practice law now. No depression. But I travel back and forth between Naperville and North Carolina to care for my very ill father. (I do not have a permanent 8-5 job and my attorney says I have to wait until my family obligations for my ill father cease until I can apply for my law license back.) Meanwhile, a “bad doctor” continues without so much as a slap on the wrist.

It is not a matter of being vindictive. It is a matter of patient safety. Dr. Dangles treats many older patients and performs knee and hip replacements. Since I care for an ill elderly person, I am sensitive to performing invasive procedures on fragile patients. And, Dr. Dangles has demonstrated through myself that his judgment is suspect.

During my IARDC proceedings, I never made the excuse that I underwent surgeries. I expected the IL Medical Board (IDFPR) to appropriately discipline its own as the IARDC disciplined me. Nothing. I filed a complaint. But, apparently the IDFPR did not even contact Dr. Dangles because he testified under oath that he never had a disciplinary complaint filed against him. My med mal complaint was dismissed first because Dr. Dangles made all of my mental health records public (without my signing a consent), threatened to use my depression against me and "spooked" one attorney and then my Duke Medical orthopedic surgeon (who performed 4 repair surgeries) was told by Duke Medical administration that he could not be an expert.

Who exactly protects patients and their safety in Illinois? Please protect the patients by ensuring that the people of Illinois do not have to wait for the Illinois Supreme Court to take action on the Governor’s medical malpractice reform act to establish the much needed Illinois Medical Disciplinary Board."

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