Doc accused of slapping sedated patients' behinds
A surgeon at a hospital in New York is accused of slapping the behinds of patients while they were sedated.
While the report from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services doesn't mention the doctor by name, a complaint filed with the state Health Department in January identified him as Dr. Michael T. Clarke, Syracuse.com reported.
Clarke, an orthopedic surgeon at St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, specializes in hip replacement and resurfacing.
According to the report, 11 of 13 staff members who worked with Clarke told investigators he "sometimes slapped patients and eight said he used sexually explicit language during OR (operating room) cases."
Three staffers told investigators the doctor also called patients names, such as "fat *ss," while "slapping them hard. One staffer described seeing the doctor 'almost wind up' to deliver the slap to a patient. Another said the slaps seemed to be done as a gesture to say 'let's get this procedure going.'"
Local prosecutors have launched a criminal conduct investigation.
Clarke's attorney said he denies any wrongdoing.