A Texas neurosurgeon is facing criminal charges over allegations that he may have intentionally botched operations.
Christopher Duntsch was arrested on July 21 on five counts of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury and a count of injuring an elderly person, according to The Dallas Morning News.
In the indictments filed last month, prosecutors say the 44-year-old’s hands “amounted to deadly weapons” because he used them to cause pain to his patients by inserting medical devices such as screws.
“He operated on the wrong part of a patient's spine, damaged nerves and left one woman with chronic pain and dependent on a wheelchair, according to criminal and civil court records. State records show he left a sponge in another patient following surgery,” reported the Associated Press.
Texas Medical Board claims Duntsch "intentionally, knowingly and recklessly" harmed up to 15 patients from 2011 to 2013, when the body suspended his medical license after finding he was “unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety due to impairment from drugs or alcohol.”
Duntsch’s case has shocked many in the medical community. However, the most disturbing update so far came this week when an email was presented along with other new evidence on Aug. 24 at a hearing about his bail.
Sent from Duntsch to an employee in Dec 2011, the doctor made more than one chilling statements, including: “I am ready to leave the love and kindness and goodness and patience that I mix with everything else that I am and become a cold blooded killer.”
According to The Washington Post, his former colleagues at the Dallas Medical Center described him as a "sociopath."
“It’s a completely egregious case,’’ Leigh Hopper, then head of communications for the Texas Medical Board, told The Dallas Morning News in 2013. “We’ve seen neurosurgeons get in trouble but not one such as this, in terms of the number of medical errors in such a short time.”
If found guilty, Duntsch could face up to 99 years in prison for each assault charge.