Ten years ago this month a physician in Kentucky discovered that he was suddenly facing a series of lawsuits, thanks to his “boys will be boys” playground behavior in the surgical suite.
Doctor J. Michael Guiler, an OB/Gyn specialist in the city of Lexington, had developed the extraordinary audacity to start burning the initials of his medical school into the walls of his patients’ uteri.
You may want to go back and read that last sentence again.
And then, when others learned of his shenanigans, he made the rounds on the morning news shows, wondering aloud what all the fuss was about, what with all these women hauling his egotistical rear-end into court. Had they no sense of humor? Were they not as impressed as he was, by his University of Kentucky education?
On NBC’s Today Show, for example, Guiler defended his actions this way. “Not only am I always able to remain oriented for the patient’s safety (by burning letters into the flesh of his patient) I felt this was honorable since it made reference to the college of medicine where I received my medical degree.”
Honorable. Really? Well, let’s all take a look at his honorable handiwork and judge for yourselves. But before you do, pretend these fun & games were being burned into YOUR daughter’s private parts:
According to documents filed at the Fayette County courthouse, Guiler’s legal troubles started with a patient named Stephanie Means. It was Ms. Means who showed up one day for her hysterectomy procedure back in 2002, with the last thing on her mind being that her internal organs would be toyed with by a lab coat lunatic with a cauterizing tool. Ms. Means found out about the initial burning because Guiler was proud enough of his anatomical graffiti to actually make a videotape of his insanity.
Upon viewing the tape, Stephanie Means attorney, Michael Dean, said this. “This is bizarre. I’ve seen a lot of medical misbehavior. But I’ve never seen anything like this.”
And Dean would know, specializing as he does in personal injury and medical malpractice cases.
Anyway, over the decade, nine more women have come forward to join the first lawsuit, the settlement details of which are being kept quite deliberately secret from the public.
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So all of this may lead the reader to wonder if a crime was committed, and whether the Kentucky State Medical Board might find fault with Guiler’s behavior.
Not a chance with either one. Because if after glancing at this website you take away nothing else – remember this: NO profession in our society is held to a lower standard of common decency and discipline, than the errant doctor population.
How much of that did you hear during the three-year psychobabble called the ‘health care reform debate?’
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