Last November, the Medical Board of California revoked the license of the former medical director of several nursing homes in the area. Dr. Ray Poon-Phang Seet was cited by the board for several acts of gross negligence, unprofessional behavior, incompetence, and writing prescriptions without prior examinations or medical necessity. According to elder abuse attorneys in Marin County, a doctor’s negligence and questionable medical actions can greatly endanger lives in the surrounding community, especially those of elderly residents.
Seet graduated from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 1966, and since then has had his medical license revoked on three separate occasions—in 1996, 2001, and 2003. Each time his license was restored, and Seet was placed on probation, but the recent sanctions against the physician are final, according to Cassandra Hockenson, a spokeswoman for the state Medical Board. The Board detailed six separate cases of poor, negligent, or otherwise improper treatment provided by Seet to his patients, two of whom were treated in Marin County nursing homes.
In one case, Seet treated a 57-year-old woman who suffered from both mental and physical disabilities. She fell and broke a leg during a hospital visit, and saw an orthopedist at Country Villa San Rafael. In following up, Seet failed to check in with the orthopedist, and did not note in any patient information that the woman was readmitted with a Foley catheter in place. Four weeks after being admitted, the patient had to ask to have the catheter removed. The Medical Board reported that Seet had also prescribed high levels of OxyContin to the woman; other doctors at the hospital later cut the dosage in half. When the Board notified Seet that they were investigating his practice, he had the patient, who was described in the report as a “severely mentally disabled person dependent upon him for care,” write a letter on his behalf.
In Pine Ridge Care Center, a San Rafael nursing home, Seet supervised the care of a 91-year-old man, who died after receiving high doses of Librium during the treatment of his alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Seet had failed to investigate the patient’s alcohol consumption, and did not take the man’s age into account. The Medical Board report indicates that the man rarely drank alcohol, according to reports from both the hospital and his daughter.
Seet, as the medical director for both nursing homes, had a responsibility to coordinate patient care and supervise hospital policies and procedures for providing care, elder abuse attorneys in Marin County say. His lack of professionalism and his failure to adequately perform his duties in the facilities in which he worked caused lasting damage, and in some cases, even fatal harm, to the patients he treated.
At the Evans Law Firm, a California-based practice, our elder abuse attorneys represent nursing home residents in Marin County and surrounding areas, as well as their family members, who have been treated by incompetent or unprofessional doctors such as Seet. If you are concerned about the care you or your loved ones are receiving in California nursing homes, contact an elder abuse lawyer at the Evans Law Firm today: 415-441-8669.