By Tim Carpenter
March 27, 2008
Stephen Schneider knew the high volume of drug overdoses among his clinic patients was attracting the wrong kind of attention.A piece of the proof emerged in 2006 while Schneider underwent questioning by attorney Larry Wall, who filed a malpractice lawsuit against the physician on behalf of a deceased patient. The interrogation was lengthy and, at times, heated. But the owner of the high-traffic, pain-management clinic was ready.
“Have patients died at the clinic?” Wall asked.
“Upon advice of counsel,” Schneider replied, “I assert my Fifth Amendment rights.”
“Have you experienced overdoses at the clinic where a patient would receive an injection of narcotic drugs and they would become comatose?”
“Upon advice of counsel, I assert my Fifth Amendment right.”
In all, Schneider invoked his privilege to avoid self-incrimination 352 times in that deposition. Linda Schneider, his wife and business manager of the clinic south of Wichita, raised the same constitutional shield 281 times in a deposition with Wall.
The Kansas Board of Healing Arts, which regulates medical professionals, was also on the Schneiders’ trail. The agency confirmed instances of negligence in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and filed a disciplinary case against Stephen Schneider in May 2006.
“Things were put on a very fast track,” said Mark Stafford, the board’s lead attorney.
Then, the board’s case….
Read the rest: